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With The Squad — U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan — leading the way, most Democrat presidential candidates are committed to fossil-fuel elimination by 2050. Like good politicians, these partisans are agreeing on a leftist issue that doesn’t require immediate action.
With such potential nomination winners as former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernard Sanders supporting this sham, it’s further proof the four women are now calling the shots.
What these Democratic candidates fail to grasp is the complete elimination of fossil fuels, such as coal, oil and natural gas, would remove the source of 80 percent of U.S. total energy consumption, according to the Energy Information Administration.
This net-zero emissions policy means the United States cannot produce more carbon emissions than are eliminated from the atmosphere. This would, in effect, torpedo America’s fossil-fuel industry and eventually cause a major economic crash. The evolution of fracking has put America’s domestic oil energy industry into the world lead, ahead of Saudi Arabia and Russia.
A prime factor in outlining specific goals in fossil-fuel elimination is Washington Gov. Jay Inslee. He is specifying the removal of coal production and usage by 2030 and “freeing” electricity from fossil-fuel use by 2035. His agenda includes working with Congress to ban the technique of fracking for natural gas as well as rejecting new fossil-fuel infrastructure such as pipelines.
In injecting political motives into these plans, Inslee accused Biden of not being “on board” with fossil-fuel liquidation, which Inslee believes makes him unfit to become the Democrats’ presidential candidate.
Most candidates, including Biden, also vowed to ban new oil and gas drilling leases on public lands. But they leave the door open for the elimination of fossil-fuel use.
Some experts, however, say Biden and other candidates are merely reflecting reality when they are coy about phasing-out fossil fuels.
To reach the net-zero goal, the United Nations climate panel recommends keeping some fossil fuel in use by pairing coal or gas plants with carbon capture technology. This process can remove emissions from a power plant and store it underground.
Whoever succeeds in becoming the Democrats’ presidential candidate will have to make this unrealistic energy plan viable — and be ready to confront a major sector of the flourishing U.S. economy.
The High-Tech Visa Debate
Renewals are no longer automatic for the high-tech visas of skilled foreign workers, ostensibly to root out illegal immigrants. But Silicon Valley is objecting, claiming it pushes away workers with the badly needed technical skills, such as in software development.
Currently, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) gives out a total of 85,000 new visas a year, a level previously set by Congress. Existing visas can be renewed, however, bringing the total number of visa holders to 1.6 million.
Traditionally, once a visa was received, it was automatically renewed. President Donald Trump and his administration abrogated this practice in late 2017. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is now mandated to direct its officers to apply the same level of security to both initial applications and extension requirements — even where the original underlying facts had not changed since the inception.
It has caused the USCIS to demand evidence of renewing visa holders; they must provide additional documentation, verifying their claims in the original visas. This “harassment” by the DHS division, according to those involved, has brought forth allegations that this “presidential policy” has been instituted to eliminate migrants, no matter how critical their skills may be.
In the first three months of 2019, USCIS reported that 60 percent of the people sending in visa renewal petitions were issued new visas. This compares favorably with the rate of 24 percent for the same period in 2015. But the higher level of scrutiny also has resulted in more visas rejected.
However, both the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Technology Industry Council issued a joint statement to the House Judiciary Committee in July, indicating that the USCIS’ restraints were severely undermining abilities of the technology industry.
Labor unions welcome the additional scrutiny, stating that wide-open immigration visas play havoc with their ability to negotiate fair wages and benefits for their members.
However, the Trump administration disagrees with Chamber of Commerce’s argument, stating that the openness of the Obama administration’s visa approvals had put no restrictions on foreign workers, even family members who were once allowed to join those hired by the “industry necessity” process.
Significantly, the Trump administration’s position of restraint leans more toward the unions. They find that the increasingly numerical approval of technologically capable foreigners has circumvented an immigration surge, which the Trump group says has already gotten out of hand.
The administration is also bent on a major investigation of the technology giants of Silicon Valley, which it believes have gone a long way in subverting business competitiveness.