On Sunday, U.S. Energy Envoy Amos Hochstein called U.S. shale investors “un-American” for refusing to ramp up drilling. Meanwhile, the Biden administration has done nearly everything in its power to put American producers out of business.
The Biden administration continues to weaponize access to capital. They do this through woke Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) policies and subsidies for special interests like wind and solar — all to end the very fuel responsible for the flourishing economies and industrialization of the west.
At the heart of the Biden administration’s policies lies a fundamental truth: their privileged worldview and commitment to their radical climate agenda is not only “un-American,” it is also anti-progress, anti-prosperity and at its core, anti-human.
As the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit convenes in Washington this week on the heels of the United Nations annual climate conference, COP27, this warped policy will be on full display, as the Biden administration tries to put a façade over a fundamentally anti-prosperity agenda for Africa.
What we won’t see is a real commitment to Africa’s energy future. The right course is to prioritize affordable and reliable energy to lift its people out of poverty. Instead, the Summit promises more western climate posturing and delusions of a green utopia at the expense of improved health and prosperity for the African people.
It is not lost on leaders across the African continent that abundant, affordable and reliable energy has been key to the success of the western world. Just as this administration’s hostility to U.S. traditional energy production should be classed as “un-American,” its refusal to allow African development of hydrocarbons should be publicly shunned as “anti-African.”
As energy costs skyrocket and Europe flounders in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the importance of rational energy policy is glaring. Even as Britain and Germany double down on coal, American and European leaders met in Sharm El Sheikh to reaffirm a collective commitment to radical climate-driven deindustrialization.
In fact, in his opening speech, President Biden asserted that “it’s more urgent than ever that we double down on our climate commitments.” “No nation,” he declared, should be able to “hold the global economy hostage.”
Yet the Biden Administration committed to doing just that – holding the growth prospects of the diverse African economies hostage by ending support for “international financing” of hydrocarbons. In fact, the Treasury Department unveiled its plan last summer to weaponize multilateral development banks in its war on the very energy responsible for historic growth, and increased standards of living for billions.
With U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres calling “humanity” a “weapon of mass extinction” due to our “bottomless appetite for unchecked and unequal economic growth,” the logical anti-growth, anti-prosperity and fundamentally anti-human consequences of the continued commitment to radical climate agenda could not be clearer.
It calls for a world where the morally superior among the world elites serve as a check on the supposed greed of the rest of humanity — greed like the universal human desire for a better life. It is no wonder that African leaders are seeing through the façade.
As President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda eloquently put it in the lead-up to COP27, “it is no surprise some of my counterparts call for reparations or handouts. But this is the last thing Africans need or most want. Dialing down the brazen double-standards is what we desire, along with the lifting of the moratorium on fossil fuel investments for Africa herself so we can meet the needs of our own people.”
President Joe Biden would be wise to hear these words and dial down on the anti-energy agenda instead of “doubling down on our climate commitments.” Better yet, we should dial up American energy and bring shared prosperity — not handouts — for the American people and those across the globe.
The U.S. has abundant resources and capabilities to expand energy access at home and in partnerships abroad. Instead of throwing allegations of “un-American” behavior, the Biden administration should embrace and export the fundamental American principles of our great nation of free-thinkers, builders, and innovators.
As President Biden has repeatedly said, the U.S. should bring light, not darkness, to the world. That starts by embracing the value of American energy and innovation at home and in our engagements abroad.
We can be drivers of a worldwide commitment to the God-given value of every man and woman and to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Carla Sands is the former U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Denmark. She currently serves as the Vice-Chair of the Center for Energy & Environment at the America First Policy Institute.
Carla Sands serves as the Vice Chair of the Center for Energy & Environment at the America First Policy Institute. She previously served as the U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of Denmark.