Frozen in Time
Jun 30, 2022
‘Ten Policies to Unleash American Energy and Fuel Recovery’ (API gets nine of ten right)

By Rob Bradley. Master Resource

” it is time for an energy awakening - for the natural gas and oil supply chain and the government at all levels to open a new era of working together to ensure that essential energy resources are unlocked; to encourage investment opportunities and accelerate infrastructure development; and to strengthen global energy security, affordability and reliability.” (API, below)

The American Petroleum Institute (API) has represented the larger integrated oil companies since its founding just over a century ago. Much of its early mission was to standardize machinery specifications as well as accounting practices to modernize and streamline the industry. But API’s other major function has been politics, which became so great that the trade group moved from New York City to Washington, D.C. in 1969.

Often, the self-interest of the majors was the free market, particularly in the troubled 1970s. But API supported state-level market-demand proration in the 1920s and 1930s forward, and today it supports government subsidies for what its members can do in the name of climate change, such as carbon capture and storage. In fact, API gave up the moral high ground and has been playing defense since ceding the climate debate to the activist Left.

That has now changed. The global energy crisis, and energy problems at home, have given oil and gas a wide opening. The radical anti-fossil-fuel agenda of Joe Biden has citizen voters up in arms - and the oil and gas industry has the answers that Obstructionist Biden does not.

Thus API finds itself on offense and, to some extent, off the greenwash climate-alarmism bandwagon.

So it was of interest to review API’s much advertised 10-point plan to right-size the industry to meet high and growing domestic and world demand for oil and natural gas. There is no Peak Oil or Peak Gas; there is an Outsized Government that is artificially constraining a free-market industry.

Nine of the ten proposals below are free-market-oriented. But #7, mentioned here (yellow), is not:

Advance Lower Carbon Energy Tax Provisions
Congress should expand and extend Section 45Q tax credits for carbon capture, utilization, and storage development and create a new tax credit for hydrogen produced from all sources.

Plank #7 should be changed to:

End Preferential Tax Credits
Congress should should not expand or extend Section 45Q tax credits for Carbon Capture and Storage. Congress should not extend subsidies for Electric Vehicles and should eliminate the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for wind power and Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for solar.

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10 for 2022 Manifesto

America’s core promise - the freedom to be, to create, to aspire - drives the opportunity for all Americans to have better lives and reach new heights. American energy empowers American opportunity. Given today’s global unrest and economic uncertainty, this has never been more true.

Americans have been here before, with fuel shortages in the 1970s serving as a vivid reminder. Today, energy demand is outstripping supply. Inflation is the highest it has been in 40 years. Fuel prices have soared. Putin’s brutal aggression in Ukraine has united the West against his regime and the energy he once sold to Europe. It is all connected - and alarming. But a solution is beneath our feet.

Our nation is blessed with abundant natural gas and oil that is the envy of other countries. It is a foundation of our economy, supporting more than 11 million U.S. jobs, and makes our American way of life possible. It has revived Main Street storefronts, restored U.S. manufacturing, driven job creation and bolstered our nation’s ability to compete. It has made America safer in a turbulent world.

Given global circumstances, it is time for an energy awakening - for the natural gas and oil supply chain and the government at all levels to open a new era of working together to ensure that essential energy resources are unlocked; to encourage investment opportunities and accelerate infrastructure development; and to strengthen global energy security, affordability and reliability.

Bottom line: Washington policymakers must confront the global mismatch between demand and supply that has driven higher fuel prices by supporting greater U.S. production. To address the growing crisis we face, Congress and the President must support energy investment, create new access and keep regulation from unnecessarily restricting energy growth. The world is calling out for energy leadership. America can and should step up fast.

API’s 10-point plan to restore U.S. energy leadership and help fulfill our great nation’s core promise.

Lift Development Restrictions on Federal Lands and Waters
The Department of the Interior (DOI) should swiftly issue a 5-year program for the Outer Continental Shelf and hold mandated quarterly onshore lease sales with equitable terms. DOI should reinstate canceled sales and valid leases on federal lands and waters.

Designate Critical Energy Infrastructure Projects
Congress should authorize critical energy infrastructure projects to support the production, processing and delivery of energy. These projects would be of such concern to the national interest that they would be entitled to undergo a streamlined review and permitting process not to exceed one year.

Fix the NEPA Permitting Process
The Biden administration should revise the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process by establishing agency uniformity in reviews, limiting reviews to two years, and reducing bureaucratic burdens placed on project proponents in terms of size and scope of application submissions.

Accelerate LNG Exports and Approve Pending LNG Applications
Congress should amend the Natural Gas Act to streamline the Department of Energy (DOE) to a single approval process for all U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects. DOE should approve pending LNG applications to enable the U.S. to deliver reliable energy to our allies abroad.

Unlock Investment and Access to Capital
The Securities and Exchange Commission should reconsider its overly burdensome and ineffective climate disclosure proposal and the Biden administration should ensure open capital markets where access is based upon individual company merit free from artificial constraints based on government-preferred investment allocations.

Dismantle Supply Chain Bottlenecks
President Biden should rescind steel tariffs that remain on imports from U.S. allies as steel is a critical component of energy production, transportation, and refining. The Biden administration should accelerate efforts to relieve port congestion so that equipment necessary for energy development can be delivered and installed.

Advance Lower Carbon Energy Tax Provisions
Congress should expand and extend Section 45Q tax credits for carbon capture, utilization, and storage development and create a new tax credit for hydrogen produced from all sources.
Protect Competition in the Use of Refining Technologies

The Biden administration should ensure that future federal agency rulemakings continue to allow U.S. refineries to use the existing critical process technologies to produce the fuels needed for global energy markets.

End Permitting Obstruction on Natural Gas Projects
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission should cease efforts to overstep its permitting authority under the Natural Gas Act and should adhere to traditional considerations of public needs as well as focus on direct impacts arising from the construction and operation of natural gas projects.

Advance the Energy Workforce of the Future
Congress and the Biden administration should support the training and education of a diverse workforce through increased funding of work-based learning and advancement of STEM programs to nurture the skills necessary to construct and operate oil, natural gas and other energy infrastructure.

Final Comment

API can do more, building on the above plan (except for Plank #7 as it now stands). The writings, lecturing, and advocacy of Alex Epstein and Robert Bryce should be 1) acknowledged for setting up the Great Reversal in policy debate and action that is evident today and 2) promoted to seize the moral high ground in the climate/energy debate.

Jun 16, 2022
Consumer Advocate Warns: Your Electric Bill Could Balloon by 50 Percent (FYI-just the start)

by Damien Fisher

Already paying some of the highest energy costs in the country, New Hampshire ratepayers will soon be paying a lot more. According to a filing with the Public Utilities Commission, Liberty Utilities is seeking approval for an increase in the default residential energy rate from 8.393 cents per kilowatt-hours to 22.223 cents per kilowatt-hours. Donald Kreis, with New Hampshire’s Office of Consumer Advocate, said the net effect of the charge will be that Granite Staters who use Liberty can expect to pay nearly 50 percent more for electricity when the new rate goes into effect in August. “That means a typical bill for a residential electric customer of Liberty Utilities will go up by nearly 47 percent from its current level,” Kreis said on Twitter.

Granite Staters already pay the seventh-highest residential electricity rates in the nation.

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Liberty has about 43,000 electric customers in New Hampshire. Kreis said Eversource, New Hampshire’s main electric supplier, is expected to file for a similar rate increase before the PUC soon. “To my knowledge, these huge default service prices are unprecedented since NH broke up its vertically integrated electric utilities more than 20 years ago,” he wrote on Twitter. He said on Twitter the reason for the rate increases is the rising cost of natural gas, which electric supplies use to generate the power needed. “In New England, we rely on natural gas for the majority of our electricity. Natural gas futures prices for the coming winter have hit $30 per mmBTU. Wholesale electric suppliers have priced those natural gas increases into their bids,” he wrote.

Reached Wednesday, Kreis said New Hampshire doe not have a robust natural gas market for homeowners, the state uses a lot of natural gas to fuel power plants, like the Granite Ridge power facility in Londonderry. Unitil, one of the state’s two other electric utilities, has rates currently at around 10.3 cents per kilowatt-hour and is on a different rate schedule than the other two companies. New Hampshire Electric Cooperative, the second-largest utility in the state, expects to adjust its power supply rate later this summer.

“It’s safe to say that we’re seeing the same dynamics playing out in the New England electric wholesale market. Costs for summer supply are up dramatically from last year, driven primarily by huge increases in the price of natural gas, which is used to generate about half of the power in New England,” said NHEC Communications Administrator Seth Wheeler.

The rate increases coming from Liberty and Eversource far outpace predictions from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The winter electricity forecast saw a price rise in New England closer to 16 percent, not 47 percent. “We expect the summer increases in retail residential electricity prices will range from an increase of 2.4 percent in the West South-Central region to a 16.1 percent increase in New England,” the EIA forecast states. Kreis said utilities buy power from suppliers in six-month increments, and the rate increases reflect the increased prices they are paying for power under the new six-month contracts, which will start in August. There won’t be another chance to change the rates until next year, meaning prices will remain high until 2023.

New Hampshire’s elected officials have taken note. On Wednesday, Gov. Chris Sununu and Department of Energy Commissioner Jared Chicoine announced that, for the first time ever, the state plans to use Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) funding to help struggling households pay for summer electricity costs. The funding will be routed through the New Hampshire Fuel Assistance Program for pre-qualified, low-income households.

“We are allocating $7.5 million in funds to provide low-income families with assistance to help cool their homes this summer,” said Governor Chris Sununu. “As a result of unprecedented Washington spending that has unleashed record inflation, uncertainty in the energy market following President Biden’s anti-domestic energy policies, and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, energy prices are skyrocketing across the country. While there is not much that states can do to rebuff federal inaction, we are doing what we can at the state level to ease the burden on low-income families.”

Details of the plan, including the exact amount of funding available per family, are still being developed. “The Department of Energy is working diligently with stakeholders to provide summer electric bill assistance to currently-eligible LIHEAP customers,” said Department of Energy Commissioner Jared Chicoine. “We are hopeful that this assistance will help provide some relief to consumers in these challenging times.” Kreis said in the short term consumers should shop around for competitive electric suppliers and lobby their municipalities to enter into power aggregation deals to lower the costs. They can also apply for the state’s energy efficiency programs. New Hampshire energy consumers are looking at a tough winter ahead, too. Home heating oil is selling for close to $6 a gallon, up from about $4.50 a gallon average this past winter, and $3 a gallon from the prior season. Relief is a long way off, as the EIA expects the 2023 winter season to see heating oil back down to under $4 a gallon.

Craig Stevens, a spokesman with the energy and business coalition, Grow America’s Infrastructure Now, said Democratic environmental and energy policies, like restricting domestic energy production, have pushed prices higher.

“The rise in electricity prices is, unfortunately, much too predictable considering the energy policies of the past two Democratic administrations promised - and have since delivered - Americans. Between Presidents Obama and Biden, they have forced the shuttering of power plants across the country, made the siting and construction of transmission lines virtually impossible, stopped pipeline expansion, and closed off domestic energy production,” Stevens said. “We need more than vapid rhetoric, empty promises, and finger-pointing; we need a comprehensive - all of the above - energy policy that recognizes our current energy needs and the growing energy needs of our increasingly electrified economy.”

With prices likely to remain high through to next year, Kreis said New Hampshire ultimately needs to diversify how it generates power in order to avoid another year like 2022.

See more on electricity prices here.

Jun 06, 2022
Blame-game: Hochul Blames Utilities for Costs of State Climate Policies

By James E. Hanley on his blog

Governor Hochul may be in support of the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act’s (CLCPA) goals, but she clearly doesn’t want anyone to link her to its costs - certainly not now, with a gubernatorial primary looming.

How else to explain her attack on utility companies asking the Public Service Commission (PSC) to allow rate increases to cover - among other business costs - the cost of buying clean energy and promoting energy efficient homes?

Just months ago. Hochul was eager to approve two expensive renewable energy projects - the Champlain Hudson Power Express and Clean Path New York, which will bring hydro and wind energy to New York City. It was made clear at the time that the costs of those projects would be socialized to all New Yorkers through utility rate hikes, including to upstaters who won’t get any of the energy.

Hochul also supports expensive electrification of buildings, including installation of heat pumps.

But now she objects to utility companies New York State Electric & Gas (NYSEG) and Rochester Gas and Electric (RG&E), both subsidiaries of AVANGRID, pursuing rate increases to fund their own programs that in large part support CLCPA goals.

The companies’ plans include supporting NYSERDA’s Empower program by providing free energy audits and efficiency upgrades for low-to-moderate income customers, support for electric vehicle technology, heat pump installation, more connections to emissions-free wind and solar energy, and investments in battery storage.

In addition, the companies need to replace aging infrastructure to prevent blackouts. This is a national problem. Across America the electricity grid is aging and at increasing risk of failure.

All this costs money, but Hochul has declared it “outrageous,” and “unacceptable” to ask upstaters to pay for these efforts to support the state’s climate policies. It’s all too typical of a politician to blame the costs of their own policies on the parties responsible for their implementation.

And as the primary approaches, Hochul’s reaction to the most recent proposed rate hikes is a transparent attempt to distance herself from the consequences of the CLCPA agenda she supports. Her pitch is mainly aimed at upstate voters. But perhaps if upstaters - who already use mostly clean energy -weren’t being asked to help pay to clean up downstate’s dirty energy supply, this rate increase wouldn’t be such a burden on them.

Just how does Hochul expect utilities to pay for achieving the state’s clean energy and efficiency goals? It’s not clear that she understands how businesses actually work. Companies provide a service and customers pay for it. When government makes expensive policies that companies have to comply with, customers still pay for it.

The only alternative is to have the same people pay via taxes, but despite demands from CLCPA supporters, Hochul’s budget largely ignored the problem of paying for the state’s climate policies. That leaves them to be funded by ratepayers, as PSC commissioner John Howard recently warned.

Hochul also made a big deal of demanding that the PSC carefully scrutinize the companies’ request. But that’s what the Commission does by law - regardless of the Governor’s demands. Her grandstanding is neither here nor there as far as the PSC’s job is concerned, but it allows her to look tough on big business. Unfortunately it also raises the specter of political interference with the PSC.

And this from a Governor who pledged to make New York the country’s most business-friendly state.

Major changes like those set in motion by the CLCPA don’t come free. And to be fair, it was Hochul’s predecessor who signed the CLCPA into law. But it’s clear that she doesn’t want to take either the responsibility of rolling it back or the responsibility of finding ways to pay for it. Instead, she’s going for the low-risk, low-leadership, strategy of trying to give the public freebies, and blaming others when the real costs become known.

May 27, 2022
Biased Reporting Overheats Climate Fear, Ignores Cold

By Vijay Jayaraj, Cornwall Alliance

It was a cold May night for many in the city of Bengaluru, India.  The mercury dipped to 52 degrees Fahrenheit, a low not witnessed in the last 50 years.

The same week, some Indian cities made global headlines not for unusual cold but for extreme heat. Followers of international news likely have seen reports about heat waves and historic high temperatures in South Asia.

“India and Pakistan are no strangers to extreme temperatures, but the current heatwave stands out for its early-season timing, its rapid onset, its extent, and its severity,” reported Vox. “Researchers are now investigating how much human-caused climate change contributed to the severe heat across South Asia.”

However, the mainstream media did not report the record cold that occurred in other parts of India during the same week. It left me wondering: Is the media representing reality accurately or intentionally emphasizing hot weather to promote its climate narrative?

Welcome to the journalism of the climate cult - a systematic reporting of any and every extreme heat event as evidence of pending thermal doomsday while cold weather goes unreported or underreported.

India’s capital Delhi topped the news when the mainstream media used a heat wave as a vehicle for promoting climate fear. Yet at the same time, Western media ignored the coldest day in 50 years in Bengaluru, where I live.

May 12 was the coldest day for the month in the city since 1972. A weather event that had a high probability of occurring, the cold was partly due to a cyclonic system and proof neither of extreme climate change nor of its absence.

Likewise, the extreme heat was a weather event that cannot be attributed exclusively to the trend in global average temperature - a measure that has been reasonably stable since the beginning of this century.

Delhi is notorious for its urban heat island, where a high density of structures causes a heat pocket and compounds the effect of natural warmth. Little relief is provided by houses lacking windows for ventilation and crammed against each other in narrow lanes. The heat can make you feel like a pizza inside a brick oven.

On May 13, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory tweeted an image of Delhi heat islands, contrasting the city with the cooler countryside. Most cities in India are now experiencing the phenomenon, the likely reason behind increasingly unbearable conditions in summer months.

If international media were to give equal coverage to hot and cold as weather events, their climate narrative would fall to pieces. The same would happen if reporters were to acknowledge the effects of heat islands in cities like Delhi, Gurgaon, and Pakistan’s Karachi - oft-used examples of so-called climate change’s heat.

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This irresponsible reporting extends well beyond Asia. In the past few weeks, unusually cold temperatures were recorded across the globe with little notice from the media.

Canada’s Victoria International Airport set a temperature of 33.4 degree Fahrenheit, the lowest May 12 temperature since 1964. Similarly, in Puerto Rico, Italy, and Spain, the average temperature for April was below normal

In the United States’ lower 48, April temperatures were 1.17 degrees Fahrenheit lower than normal. Even with global wheat futures hitting a high amidst a shortage, the media ignored the disruption of the planting season by cold May weather.

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A public brainwashed by a corrupt - or inept - media is ill-equipped to face the real consequences of cold weather while suffering anxiety over a made-up climate emergency.

Vijay Jayaraj is a Research Associate at the CO2 Coalition, Arlington, VA, and holds a masters degree in environmental sciences from the University of East Anglia, UK. He resides in Bengaluru, India.

This commentary was first published at Biz Pac Review May 23, 2022

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Joseph D’Aleo

By the way each year as Vijay will tell you, the major media will report on the pre-monsoonal heat in India that develops and helps draw in the moisture that drives the seasonal monsoon. (BTW the same behavior/hype is seen here in the southwest US before the summer rains).

See the warmth in northern India into June.

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See the rains arrive.

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See the cooling.

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Expect the media to jump on flooding from the monsoon rains and trying to tie it to greenhouse warming.

See in 2010 here how an Indian PhD scientist, Madhav Khandekar whose career brought him to Canada as a Environment Canada Meteorologist and our very own Wille Soon wrote how the climate modelers and their tinker toy climate models were promising they could predict monsoon success or failure. We could show you the ENSO state (MEI) alone could be used as a skillful predictor.

BTW, Madhav often travels back to India in winter to escape frigid Canada. He reported on Icecap and published papers on how cold in India was the killer not pre monsoonal heat and there were signs that the next cold period may be starting.

This was supported by the India IMD in this story by Down to Earth.

In 2020, human deaths due to cold waves were 76 times more than those due to heat waves, according to the India Meteorological Department (IMD).

As many as 152 deaths were recorded due to cold waves in 2020 in comparison to just two deaths as a result of heat waves, the Envi-Stats India 2021, Vol. 1 by the Ministry of Statistics, mentioned.

In 2020, deaths from cold waves in proportion to that from heat waves recorded officially were the highest in 20 years, the report mentioned. India recorded 99 days of cold waves in 2020, according to IMD.

There has been a nearly 2.7 times increase in the number of cold wave days from 2017-2020, the report showed. Cold waves killed more Indians than heat waves from 1980-2018.

The number of cold wave days have been consistently on the rise since 2017. In 2018, the country witnessed 63 days of cold waves, which increased 1.5 times to 103 in 2019.

India recorded the least deaths due to heat waves in 2020, when the country was under lockdown for months due to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

In 2011, nearly 60-times more deaths were recorded in comparison to heat waves. Cold waves claimed 722 lives and heat waves 12, according to IMD.

And last Saturday:

URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
National Weather Service Portland OR
137 PM PDT Sat May 28 2022

Northern Oregon Cascades-Cascades in Lane County-South Washington Cascades- including the cities of Santiam Pass, McKenzie Pass, Willamette Pass, and Mount St. Helens
137 PM PDT Sat May 28 2022

...WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 8 PM THIS EVENING TO 11 AM PDT SUNDAY ABOVE 4500 FEET…

* WHAT...Wet snow expected above 4500 feet. Total snow accumulations of 3 to 6 inches for the South Washington, and 5 to 10 inches for the Oregon Cascades with higher amounts expected above 6000 feet. Winds gusting as high as 50 mph on exposed ridges and peaks.

* WHERE...In Oregon, Northern Oregon Cascades and Cascades in Lane County. In Washington, South Washington Cascades.

See here if the earth cools as the next phase of the 60 year +/- cycle goes back cold as was the general opinion was underway at the time:

See how ice cores suggest we may be on the downside of the current interglacial and closer to the next ice age than to a dangerously warm future.

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May 27, 2022
First gasoline, then baby formula, then wheat?

I just got a heating oil delivery - 50% up from the winter ($1067). We live in a modest, energy efficient home. The heating oil is 278% higher in the current administration. Gasoline is up 249% here in New England.

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Our country (and world) is in a mess - not just the war in Ukraine - but the UN progressive drive New World Order not just a plan on paper but being implemented. Much of the world is feeling the effect.  See this compelling real story on ”41 Inconvenient Truths on the “New Energy Economy”.The elites, most very rich and largely unaffected by their idealistic radical programs that they pushed through the world governments and indoctrinated our young people in schools to support. Many of my colleagues - mostly retired - are engaging in the push back. Those still working for government and schools stay quiet or if they have the courage to be vocal are silenced (see). Even NOAA and NASA have beautiful web sites sadly filled with bad science.

We started Icecap 15 years ago. The software was built for me and my small team. Many of those who I worked with have sadly passed on. I do all the posting now. I am still working in the forecasting industry part time and do consulting work. I am not a programmer and rely on a large web hoster to keep the old software working. The company moved to California from Texas and we were down at times in recent weeks. Thanks for your patience and for your support in the last few years. I came close to shutting it down. I have been told by a team I volunteer for that submitted Request for Reconsideration of the EPA Endangerment finding which attempts to blame all losses from extremes of weather on Greenhouse gases - ignoring the facts they got the science wrong and that CO2 is a plant fertilizer responsible for the rising crop yields that has helped to feed the planet. The Sahara has shrunk 8% in recent decades, our economy thrived when we were energy independent.  The plans of the current administration and world governments will lead to not only costly energy but brownouts and blackouts, a real threat in heat and cold to health.  Rising energy costs drive up the coast for everything. Remember a few years ago, we warned if carbon control was mandated, the cost for average families would increase by 10-20% (energy and energy based inflation). We are well on the way. Please help us keep going by DONATING even small amounts and get the message out. I am working with scientists to fight the good fight. I have joined the CO2 Coalition team and others as possible.

Thank God for the growing number of organizations and web sites and news services reporting the truth. Here is another one.

Analyst Warns World Has Just ‘Ten Weeks’ of Wheat Supplies Left in Storage

Jack Phillips, The Epoch Times
May 22, 2022 Updated: May 22, 2022

A food insecurity expert said the world has only about 10 weeks of wheat supplies left in storage amid the conflict in Ukraine and as India has moved to bar exports of wheat in recent weeks.

Sara Menker, the CEO of agriculture analytics firm Gro Intelligence, told the United Nations Security Council that the Russia-Ukraine war “simply added fuel to a fire that was long burning,” saying that it is not the primary cause of the wheat shortage. Ukraine and Russia both produce close to about a third of the world’s wheat.

“I want to start by explicitly saying that the Russia-Ukraine war did not start the food security crisis. It simply added fuel to a fire that was long burning. A crisis we detected tremors from long before the COVID 19 pandemic exposed the fragility of our supply chains,” Menker said, according to a transcript.

“I share this because we believe it’s important for you all to understand that even if the war were to end tomorrow, our food security problem isn’t going away anytime soon without concerted action.”

In providing data, Menker said that due to price increases in major crops this year, it’s made another 400 million worldwide “food insecure,” adding that with wheat, the world “currently only [has] 10 weeks of global consumption sitting in inventory around the world.”

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“Conditions today are worse than those experienced in 2007 and 2008,” she continued to say. “It is important to note that the lowest grain inventory levels the world has ever seen are now occurring while access to fertilizers is highly constrained, and drought in wheat growing regions around the world is the most extreme it’s been in over 20 years. Similar inventory concerns also apply to corn and other grains. Government estimates are not adding up.”

Last week, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken accused Russia of blocking Ukraine from exporting wheat, which Russia has categorically denied. Blinken alleged Moscow is using wheat as a weapon of war.

“The Russian government seems to think that using food as a weapon will help accomplish what its invasion has not ... to break the spirit of the Ukrainian people,” Blinken said.

However, Menker noted that droughts across the world are contributing to wheat shortages. Fertilizer shortages and other weather issues have added fuel to the fire, she also remarked.

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It comes as David Beasley, executive director of the World Food Program, said the world is now facing “an unprecedented crisis,” noting that 49 million people in 43 nations are “knocking on famine’s door.” With famine comes political destabilization, he noted.

“We are already seeing riots and protesting taking place as we speak - Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Pakistan, Peru,” he said. “We’ve seen destabilizing dynamics already in the Sahel from Burkina Faso, Mali, Chad. These are only signs of things to come.”

Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.

Note the record rise in wheat prices.

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Corn prices mirror wheat.

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Models suggest rains come to the central. How much will it help?

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