Where I grew up in northern Minnesota, it’s easy to see the impact that economic hard times leave on disadvantaged communities. With consumers now experiencing record-high gas prices, it is safe to say that Americans—not just back in my hometown—but across the country, are experiencing undue burden.
For many, rising prices bring times of sacrifice. When Americans are pinching pennies, it’s hardly a comfort to hear that high gas prices can be avoided by simply buying an electric vehicle, as transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg recently advised.
As administration officials stubbornly push for a government-driven energy transition, escalating fuel prices often leave families in a bind, where they must choose between meeting energy needs such as heating, cooling, and filling up their gas tank or purchasing essential goods such as clothing, school supplies, and food. This dilemma, commonly known as “heat or eat,” makes all the difference between keeping a home warm or providing nutrition for little ones. The stakes are especially high for low-income, elderly, and minority groups, who spend a more significant portion of their budgets meeting energy needs.
Unfortunately, high energy prices will eat away at their finances in more ways than one. Price hikes at the pump will likely translate into rising prices in supermarket aisles, retail stores, and more. To understand the relationship between fuel and the prices of other goods and services, consider the classic illustration by Leonard Read, “I, Pencil.”
An economic lesson in the form of a short essay, “I, Pencil,” explains how even a seemingly simple pencil is the end product of a vast and intricate network of supply chains. Read argues that while a pencil may seem unremarkable, no one on earth knows how to create one from start to finish. He demonstrates this by tracing the pencil’s complex “ancestry.”
Read relates, in the voice of the pencil itself:
“My family tree begins with what in fact is a tree, a cedar of straight grain that grows in Northern California and Oregon. Now contemplate all the saws and trucks and rope and the countless other gear used in harvesting and carting the cedar logs to the railroad siding.”
Much of the “gear” Read refers to (trucks, logging machinery, etc.) runs on fuel. Suppose for a moment that fuel supplies decrease in Read’s illustration. The lower supply of fuel leads to more competition for fuel among logging and trucking firms, which pushes up the price of fuel. To economize on fuel, loggers may need to slow production, making lumber less abundant and more expensive for businesses that rely on lumber, like pencil manufacturers. With a reduced supply of wood, pencil production will drop, making pencils less plentiful and more costly, too.
These economic principles extend far beyond just pencils. All consumer goods—from food to clothing to housing to electronics—have “family trees” of their own, and one “ancestor” they all have in common is energy. Machines must be powered, materials must be shipped, and many workers still need to commute. Energy shortfalls, then, make goods and services more expensive across the board, reducing living standards for everyone, especially families in need.
While a market-driven energy transition would be welcome, as economic and technological realities stand now, fossil fuels are an indispensable source for these energy needs. Fossil fuels are a key link in innumerable supply chains. By hampering fossil fuel production, the government is hampering the entire economy in its attempts to force and rush an energy transition. That is leading to painfully high prices, not only at the pump but everywhere, and that pain is sharpest for the poor.
The disproportionate harm that rising energy costs inflict upon our most vulnerable communities foreshadows the challenges many of the rest of us will face if we stick to disruptive policies such as these. Any truly just energy transition campaign will refrain from tipping the scales in favor of specific technologies, but instead allow consumers freedom of choice. Through market forces, we can achieve clean, abundant, and affordable energy.
Danielle Butcher is the executive vice president at the American Conservation Coalition (ACC) and fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum (IWF).
This article was originally published on FEE.org. Read the original article.
Will America-First News Outlets Make it to 2023?
Things are looking grim for conservative and populist news sites.
There’s something happening behind the scenes at several popular conservative news outlets. 2021 was bad, but 2022 is proving to be disastrous for news sites that aren’t “playing ball” with the corporate media narrative. It’s being said that advertisers are cracking down, forcing some of the biggest ad networks like Google and Yahoo to pull their inventory from conservative outlets. This has had two major effects. First, it has cooled most conservative outlets from discussing “taboo” topics like Pandemic Panic Theater, voter fraud, or The Great Reset. Second, it has isolated those ad networks that aren’t playing ball.
Certain topics are anathema for most ad networks. Speaking out against vaccines or vaccine mandates is a certain path to being demonetized. Highlighting voter fraud in the 2020 and future elections is another instant advertising death penalty. Throw in truthful stories about climate change hysteria, Critical Race Theory, and the border crisis and it’s easy to understand how difficult it is for America-First news outlets to spread the facts, share conservative opinions, and still pay the bills.
Without naming names, I have been told of several news outlets who have been forced to either consolidate with larger organizations or who have backed down on covering certain topics out of fear of being “canceled” by the ad networks. I get it. This is a business for many of us and it’s not very profitable. Those of us who do this for a living are often barely squeaking by, so loss of additional revenue can often mean being forced to make cuts. That means not being able to cover the topics properly. Its a Catch-22: Tell the truth and lose the money necessary to keep telling the truth, or avoid the truth and make enough money to survive. Those who have chosen survival simply aren’t able to spread the truth properly.
We will never avoid the truth. The Lord will provide if it is His will. Our job is simply to share the facts, spread the Gospel, and educate as many Americans as possible while exposing the forces of evil.
To those who have the means, we ask that you please donate. We have options available now, but there is no telling when those options will cancel us. We just launched a new GiveSendGo page. We also have our GivingFuel page. There have been many who have been canceled by PayPal, but for now it’s still an option. Your generosity is what keeps these sites running and allows us to get the truth to the masses. We’ve had great success in growing but we know we can do more with your assistance.
Thank you, and God Bless!