The Absolute State of the Union

Biden's dark silence on energy issues

It's Wednesday, my dudes. Here's what we're looking at today: Russian's incursion into Ukraine intensifies, IEA releases emergency oil stocks, Biden was to highlight clean energy gains in SOTU speech, Germany contemplates delaying nuclear closures, ERCOT loses immunity case. 


  • Ukraine faces more brutal form of war as Russia regroups. (BBG)

  • Weapons group points to Ukraine in bid to shape ESG rulebook. (BBG)

  • US says it's realigning its China trade policy. (WSJ)

  • Aluminum, nickel lead metals rally as market seeks clarity on SWIFT rules for Russia. (SPG)

  • China to continue conducting normal trade with Russia: govt spokesperson. (SPG)


  • Pressure on Japan's energy ties in Russia ratchets up with Shell's Sakhalin exit. (SPG)

  • IEA will deploy emergency oil stocks to ease soaring prices. (BBG)

  • SWIFT ban hits Russian coal exports to China. (OP)

  • Nord Stream 2 could file for insolvency after sanctions hit. (OP)

  • SCOTUS hears arguments on EPA's purview over power plant GHG emissions. (POWER)


  • Duke Energy application points finger at solar for increased pollution. (NSJ)

  • Reckoning with renewables: Appetite for I-RECs grows amid tightening of carbon credit rules. (SPG)

  • President Biden to highlight clean energy manufacturing and deployment investments that cut consumers costs, strengthen US energy sector, and create good-paying jobs. (WH)

  • Satellite cyber attack paralyzes 11GW of German wind turbines. (PVM)

  • Scottish offshore wind farm to come online later than planned. (OWB)


  • Uranium may regain "critical status" despite USGS move. (E&E)

  • Delaying Germany's nuclear is easier said than done. (BBG)

  • ITER tokamak assembly put on hold by regulator. (WNN)

  • Ukraine asks IAEA for 30km safe zones around nuclear plants. (WNN)

  • Bulgaria: "We are discussing with Greece the construction of a nuclear power plant." (TMN)


  • EU to urgently link electricity grid with Ukraine's. (Reuters)

  • ERCOT's legal issues continue to mount. (RTOI)

  • How renewables caused Scottish grid's "double heart attack." (ET)

  • DEWA completes 100% of the short-term goals of its AED 7 billion smart grid strategy. (GD)

  • Avangrid, Exelon among 90+ organizations joining DOE challenge to slash carbon emissions 50% by 2031. (UD)

The Absolute State of the Union

Biden's stumbling SOTU speech hardly touched on energy, which is strange. The White House Briefing Room provided a fact sheet meant to tout the administration's alleged victories and aspirations in "clean energy" in anticipation of the speech. There is no mention of nuclear energy. 

In his speech, Biden mentioned his ambition to "[d]ouble America’s clean energy production in solar, wind, and so much more" in an effort to "combat climate change" in order to "cut energy costs for families an average of $500 a year." Already misguided, these were parts of his already defeated Build Back Better plan about which Joe Manchin had to say this:

Rhetoric aside, the Biden administration has proven ambivalent to all forms of energy. On Monday I called this "energy nihilism"--a directionless pursuit of policy built on disbelief in energy's essential role in society.

They auction off federal land for renewables but frustrate our ability to mine the minerals to make them. They say they want to avoid fossil fuels, but leave the country dependent on foreign imports. They say they want to save nuclear, and then let the Nuclear Regulatory Committee jeopardize existing plants because green NGOs want them to. 

This kind of behavior will undermine Biden's plan to stop inflation. Energy is the ingredient in everything we do as a society, from texting to driving to farming. Nothing can escape rising energy prices. During Biden's speech, the price of oil topped $109 per barrel, the highest since 2013.

A few hours before the SOTU, my landlord sent along an email explaining why the cost to use the washer and dryer shot up by 25%. They cited "massive inflation, higher costs for electricity, water, gas, insurance, repairs, etc." and hence a need to raise the price. Then I paid $60 to fill my gas tank. This is a small forecast of what the future holds for everyday Americans: financial torture by a thousand small cuts from asinine energy policy. 

Crom's Blessing