Making Bricks Without Straw: Biden’s Raw New Deal for America

December 31, 2021 Updated: January 5, 2022

Commentary

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) chose the setting of the Sunday morning cable talk show circuit on Dec. 19 to officially report that he won’t vote in favor of the current version of President Joe Biden’s so-called Build Back Better (BBB) boondoggle. With all 50 Democrat senators needed (as well as Vice President Kamala Harris as the tiebreaker) for the measure’s approval, this has effectively killed the signature legislative initiative of the Biden administration.

Recriminations have come fast and hard at Manchin from the Democratic Party, the most extreme progressives (all of whom are in favor of democracy, provided that you agree with them and vote with them), and their slavish media operatives. To them, Manchin is now responsible for all manner of evil that will befall the country’s poor, its downtrodden, its minorities, and so forth, who will no longer have the nanny state providing everything for them, as it might have done had BBB passed.

Specifically for our present purposes, an especially disingenuous slap at Manchin—from Biden on down—is that it will now be Manchin’s fault that milestones aren’t met for the rollout of electric vehicles (EV) and other parts of the green economy. Yet Manchin’s record since 2010 on the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (he’s now chairman of that committee with the Democrat Party in the driver’s seat; prior to that, he was the ranking Democratic member for a while) is a fairly solid one of actual work and sensible, realistic policy toward our nation’s energy needs, now and in the future.

However, his accusers have done considerable harm to U.S. energy independence and even to the green initiatives that they claim to support. Even if BBB had been approved, Biden and the left have us on a disastrous path toward a new energy crisis, for all their talk otherwise (Note: A recent comprehensive “Green manual” I recently authored for concerned citizens and investors alike is available for free to subscribers and supporters of The Epoch Times; email chris@nationalinvestor.com for a copy).

In short, the Biden administration and the far-left influences to which it has surrendered itself have been—since Biden’s first day in office—undermining many of the goals they claim to have, even where EVs are concerned.

Biden (and his erstwhile progressive fellow-travelers) talk big. Yet, lofty and virtue-signaling goals—such as the president’s Executive Order calling for half of all new passenger cars being electric by 2030—mean nothing when, at the same time, he’s killing any chance to put all the necessary pieces together to manufacture these EVs.

Indeed, the Biden administration is acting very much like Egypt’s Pharaoh in the Old Testament. Pharaoh told the Israelites that they must make bricks without the straw necessary to bind them.

Biden wants EVs made, but without having to see to it that there are remotely near the necessary materials available to manufacture them. It’s as if they believe this wonderful new fleet of ostensibly green vehicles will just fall out of the sky, simply owing to the righteousness of their cause. Or maybe they think that Elon Musk has a magic extrusion machine that just spits out electric cars: no mining, refining, construction, batteries, and so forth.

While he talks otherwise, Biden’s administration has either slowed or killed a major development-stage lithium project in Nevada, two major copper projects in Arizona, two polymetallic metals projects in Minnesota, with the largest resources of battery metals—nickel, platinum group metals, copper, cobalt, and more—of any such project on this continent, and other such projects.

And for good measure, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland was recently allowed to put at renewed peril the only mill in the United States that can process both hard rock-hosted uranium and rare earth elements, both of which are needed for the green economy and each of which we thus remain dependent on outsiders for.

On our present trajectory, Biden’s achievements where energy is concerned will most likely be record prices in the next couple of years for oil and gas … and continued heavy dependence on foreign countries, especially China, for the disappointingly low number of EVs that we do produce.

Chris Temple
Chris Temple has set himself apart with his unique ability to make the intricacies of the markets and our world understandable to the average person, chiefly via his newsletter The National Investor.  With over five decades in the financial and investment world, his commentary has appeared in Barron’s, Forbes, Investors’ Digest, among other publications. To discover how to get his proprietary research in the paid newsletter service, go to The National Investor.