Launch of Chinese Handcuffs: How China Hijacked the Environmental Agenda

Launch of Chinese Handcuffs: How China Hijacked the Environmental Agenda

Securing essential resources is a critical national security priority. This imperative fuels geostrategic competition between the United States and the People’s Republic of China (PRC). However, over many years, the PRC has executed a plan to reverse roles by infiltrating and dominating the “green movement” embraced by many on the political left.

To dissect this challenge, The Heritage Foundation’s Davis Institute of National Security and Foreign Policy is launching the “Chinese Handcuffs” project. These symbolic handcuffs represent the U.S. environmental agenda, which dates back to the 1970s but has accelerated significantly under the Biden administration. Unfortunately, this acceleration has come at the cost of natural U.S. energy advantages and energy consumers. In the coming months, Heritage’s Chinese Handcuffs project will delve into two interconnected themes: the CCP’s calculated strategy to control “green energy” sources and the consequences of the American left’s eagerness to collaborate with China in the fight against climate change.

Dr. Victoria Coates, Jack Spencer, and Erin Walsh from The Heritage Foundation, along with Landon Derentz from The Atlantic Council, will explore these project elements and China’s perilous energy developments.

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Ladies and gentlemen Welcome to our Program launch of Chinese handcuffs how China hijacked the environmental agenda Please welcome Victoria coats vice President of the Heritage foundation's Davis Institute for National Security And foreign [Applause] Policy well thank you and welcome Everyone to a very exciting day for Those of us in the Davis Institute the Inaugural launch of our uh project Called Chinese handcuffs and in case you Didn't pick one up on your way in we Have these for everybody on the way out Uh which has become the emblem of this Project the so the game the CH so-called Child's game in which you voluntarily Immobilize yourself and this is the one Product that actually was made in China That I looked for one that was made in China um because I think you know it is Critical for us to start to recognize What we are doing to ourselves Visa US Energy security and abdicating our Energy security voluntarily to China in The name of climate and they are doing This in a highly predatory uh deliberate Campaign to overtake Us in energy and Make us dependent on them uh the good News is that we can write the ship and And uh reverse this if if we take it Seriously and so today uh the first Panel which discusses the Chinese

Campaign uh we are very pleased to Publish there are many many people at Heritage I'd like to thank uh starting With our Asian studies Center in in Davis Andrew Harding and Aaron Walsh who Took lead on this project uh and brought It brought it to fruition in a very Timely timely manner uh we of course Very grateful for our friends in the Climate and energy uh group led by Diana Fergot Roth and uh we are that is one of Our great strengths that Heritage is our Ability to work across disciplines and Uh bring bring folks together to Collaborate on a project such as this um So without further Ado I would like to Introduce our panelists who will be Discussing this project here we will Then have time for Q&A here in the room And then also for our friends joining us Online so if you'd like to join Me uh Aaron Walsh is a senior research Fellow in international Affairs at the The Asia studies Center at the Heritage Foundation she has had an extensive Career in the private and public sectors Has worked for four Republican Administrations including president Trump's when she was both at the uh Department of Commerce and a fellow Colleague on the National Security Council staff and critically for our Project today Aon also spent 12 years uh At Goldman Sachs and Cisco and

Particularly Goldman she served in China So she knows of what she Speaks uh Landon Dar Darren is a senior Director and Morning Star chair for Global energy security at the Atlantic Council Global Energy Center and landum Was also a colleague of mine both on the NSC and at the department of energy Where he has worked for uh several Decades on energy issues and then Finally uh last but certainly not least Jack Spencer is a senior research fellow For energy and environmental policy here At Heritage in the Center for Energy Climate and the Environment uh and he previously was our Vice president of the Institute of Economic freedom and opportunity which Is again a very important perspective uh That Jack brings to our project here he Will also be deeply involved in pillar Four in his other area of expertise Which is civil nuclear energy so so Please join me in welcoming them to the [Applause] Stage in the honored tradition of ladies First Aaron uh I would just like you Like to start you with a total softball Uh which is you know we've had the Publication of how China exploits America's climate agenda today Congratulations on that what are your Key takeaways from your research on this Paper well thanks so much and Victoria

And also to Andrew Harding who co-wrote The paper with me um the key takeaways Are really as you mentioned that we Write now are in the handcuffs of China And this has been a multi-decade agenda That they have led well at the same time Our own liberal um left agenda has Brought us to this point so that's That's quite Um disconcerning the other issue is that The United States is the number three Energy producer in the world and China Is the number one energy importer in the World and what they're trying to do is To reverse this trend so that they Become dominant in this new energy and Renewables sector and we become Dependent on them so that is an Extraordinary place for the United States to be right now and hopefully We'll be able to get ourselves out of it Great thank you and Jack I can actually Remember the moment when this this Project sort of cropped up in my mind it Was actually uh very early February of 2020 and as I was transitioning from the NSC to the Department of energy I read a Report on this which I found shocking in The degree to which China is doing this Deliberately to to create this shift in Energy B balance and in your Decades of Observing energy policy what's the Trajectory you've seen for China uh you Know as Aaron says the world's most

Needy consuming Nation but how how have They sort of changed their role on the The stage of global energy Policy it's well first thank you Victoria for inviting me here today to To participate in this important event And with with the whole project you know It's interesting what China has done Um for all intents and purposes the United States should be dominating the World in energy um both on hydrocarbons Technology across the board because we Have it all we have lots of we don't Only have the natural resources but we Have the industry we have the technology To dominate the World but that wasn't good enough um the Left has decided that what has lifted Literally billions of people out of Poverty over the the last couple hundred Years which is the introduction of Hydrocarbons combined with free markets Uh wasn't quite enough that they wanted To they thought that they uh could Manage this better and they have used Global warming as the vehicle to do Exactly that now why that's interesting And Appo our conversation today is that It falls right into China's hands Because what they' have been able to do Because they are Chinese Communists is Spend a whole lot of Chinese Communist Money Um to build their uh their manufacturing

Facilities for things like wind and Solar and electric vehicles which are Precisely what the environmental left is Forcing us to buy and over time the Trajectory has been us becoming more Dependent on them it's literally um You're using the Chinese handcuffs but It's hand and glove where we are Building a Policy for no good economic reason that Completely um opens us up to Chinese Dependence and I'm sure we'll talk more About why that might be but that's the Trajectory unfortunately and it's Completely Unnecessary well thank you and Landon uh Jack raised climate issues uh which are Central to this to this discussion and You know we've seen the uh Biden Administration set some very interesting Long-term climate goals and they have Defined climate issues in documents such As their National Security strategy as An existential threat to the United States and where the conflict I see There is if you do that then you have to Rank China even if you take it seriously As a lesser threat so I'm wondering how How you assess the goals that they've Set and also the critical question can They be achieved without the Participation of China yeah no thank you Victoria thank you uh to the Heritage Foundation Aaron Andrew congratulations

On a a really nice report I think it Reads really well and it's uh Articulating a very important Conversation it's not surprising uh as Jack pointed out that China would want To have dominance over uh its resource Base its deficit uh of indigenous Resources make it want to gravitate Towards a new model and uh the United States doesn't have that challenge so we Have to be thinking through these Challenges from our perspective of of How do we maintain our Primacy on energy Going forward uh the Biden Administration definitely has set out uh Some I think fairly ambitious climate Benchmarks right we're talking about uh 80% renewable energy Generation by 2030 Carbon- free electricity by 2035 uh zero emissions vehicles uh in The 2030s I don't know if it's exactly 2030 um but these are all benchmarks That require us to be engaged uh or Require The uh the world to Grapple with how we Make uh new energies affordable or and The repercussions of what those Supply Chains actually have on us and I think To your point about how engaged uh China Is in this value chain is is a really Important Point um looking at their Command of energy resources uh China has Effectively 80% of solar manufacturing Uh nearly just as much on lithium ion

Batteries uh 70 7 70% of rare earth uh Extra extraction 90% of processing the Point is when it comes to these new Technologies China has set up a a a Framework that is clearly advantageous For them and so um if this is a yes or No binary question can we achieve those Benchmarks that uh that the Biden Administration set out without China Probably not and uh to do so without Them is going to have economic Consequence and and really run up the Cost of uh what is a policy induced uh Energy transition Well sticking with you for a moment Since you raised the supply chains I you Know and one of the things that the Covid-19 experience I think revealed to Everyone was the the fragility of Global Supply chains and uh Erin is also Because she's Superwoman working on a Bipartisan report on the uh origins of Of covid which will be rolling out later On this month so hopefully we'll be able To welcome you back then but you know That one of the things as I said CH Co Revealed was these fragile uh Supply Chains particularly the ones that run Through China and I was wondering if you Could talk a little bit more about how Those Supply chains can potentially Undermine our energy security well look Conventional energy Supply chains we're Really familiar with right it's uh oil

Oiling and increasing LG are fairly Global uh fungible Commodities we know How to move them America does them well I I think when you start to add uh the Context of clean energy resources it Gets a lot more complicated and there's A tremendous uh additional inputs that We had to break down I mean a battery Itself has some 17 to 20 individual Inputs so when you're creating a lithium Ion battery it's no longer just a barrel Of crude oil it's a much more complex Chain and and as we discussed uh through A series of uh you know state-led uh Policies of subsidies of uh Investments By the uh Chinese communist government Uh what we've seen is them actually kind Of surround and as I pointed out with Some of the figures before uh Concentrate their control of those Energy resources now there's a vibrant Conversation going on about how we break Up uh that dominance but they clearly See the value uh of taking uh what is a Much more complex supply chain and uh And garnering uh benefits from the Extraction standpoint the processing Standpoint and the manufacturing Standpoint uh to an enduser uh that that May or may not uh be able to be a part Of that value chain and right now uh That's what we're grappling through uh The policy-led uh conversation we're see Here in

Washington yeah I'm sorry to go off can I answer something about say something About the supply chain is you Should what Co taught us is the fra About the fragility of of Supply chains But it's something more important that I Think it's the risk that governments Impose on Supply chains it wasn't covid That made Supply chains break down it Was the response of governments shutting Down the economy that caused Supply Chains to break down we saw that again With Russia's invasion of Ukraine and They that government shutting down Supplies of of natural gas to Europe so I only bring it up Because we need to be we need to um Soberly assess the risk that governments Opposed to these Supply chains and and And when you're talking about communist China when they control a completely Vertically integrated supply chain of Something that our government is forcing Us to depend on it makes the risk that Much more uh even more than what the the The the what we saw under covid well I Think that's an excellent point Jack and It it actually it was a good segue to my Next question for Erin uh which is that To my knowledge the history of what China has done in terms of Deliberately dominating Supply chains in This space this history really hasn't Been written before and you know to my

Mind this is very analogous to the 5G Playbook that you're going to move into A space exploit various uh weaknesses to Dominate it and as as Jack said flood it With a whole lot of communist Chinese Money and subsidies and whatnot that That allow them to manipulate the market Uh can you walk us through that campaign A little bit there and and what your Research uncovered sure Um really the energy the whole energy Space is is extremely complicated Actually in many ways and one of the Things that we wanted to look at is what Underpins where we are today and that is The history and in without starting at Genesis I'll move us up to the 50s and That is that's when really the global Warming um science started in the 1950s In the United States and uh Al Gore who Many of you are familiar with he was a Student at Harvard and he latched on to A professor who was very interested in This and he he was decided that this was Going to be a critical um thing for the United States global warming and so he Really moved ahead and when he got to Congress he started really building up An Entire I would say group of fellow Members that would support this agenda And they moved Qui quickly to really Start the First almost advocacy and activist

Movement on global warming and green Energy and with that when he became a Senator he led the first Senate um Delegation to the first Rio Summit which Was one of those cops you hear about the UN Summits the cops uh that we have each Year and he then came back to the United States as vice president he really drove A lot of the uh negotiations for this And for the climate agenda and then when He left he started a movie and and made A movie and got an Academy Award from That and from that he got a Nobel Peace Prize so it really was to his benefit to Really keep driving this agenda at the Same time in China in the 1960s Malisa Dung was leading the cultural revolution So you look at where China was and where Al Gore was who was really the the real Godfather of our climate movement and With ma he after the uh the cultural Revolution about 16 years later China Really became involved in starting to Really move this agenda and terms of Creating their own agenda for the most Part and hu Jin was the president of the Time who really saw the impact of what Was happening in China in terms of their Pollution because of their Industrialization that had taken place Since the opening up of China with dcha Ping and Richard Nixon and so what we've Seen is really this mass amount of water Pollution air pollution really killing

Agriculturally and really starting to Create a lot of health concerns within Um China and that was going to create a Lot of discomfort and social unease Among the population and that became a Real issue for the CCP and so when um Hinau uh got involved he decided to push This agenda and really create Shin's agenda for green energy and then When um xiin ping came in in um 2012 He's the one that really accelerated Their move in terms of these new energy And Renewables understanding of course That China does not have the energy that They need and have to import so much oil For 1.4 billion people they've got a lot To be dealing with and so therefore they Knew they didn't have the oil resources That the United States does and nor did They have natural gas and so what they Wanted to do is to create these Renewables us had solar and they decided To take that wind they took over and Then they have um the new energy Vehicles and the um the batteries so I Know you're going to talk a little bit More about that but I think it's really Important to understand the history of Where we're at because it's Gore Carrie John krey who's instrumentally involved In all of this in negotiating the Paris Agreement Obama and now Biden that have Brought us to where we are today well Along those lines uh Jack I'm plotting

Actually a double question for you next So I'm going to to bring this to to uh Landon for a second to talk a little bit About the cops you and I were at Dubai Together uh this December and to my I Really started watching them starting in Edinburgh I guess 20 One Ed bur would be 20 well 26 so two Two back okay but Co gets in the uh but But the evolution of the cop what it Does and you know is that conversation Shifting noticeably did it shift in in Charm or in Dubai and what do you Anticipate coming uh next year in bako Yeah it's a great question I appreciate It Victoria look the cops have been the Platform uh for Global diplomacy so this Has been a government process around how We address uh Global emissions which uh What does COPS stand for it's the Conference of parties uh but there are Many cops so there's cops for uh tobacco There's cops for climate this is a Climate cop so we're talking about the Climate cop um and I think the most Famous of the climate cops to date has Been uh the Paris agreement uh and I Want to say 2015 I could be wrong on That I'd have to think um but that is One of John K's going back to aon's Points uh signature achievements and his Legacy on these issues and it's been a Government process and what was Different about Paris at that moment in

Time was uh governments around the Worlds creating uh their own framework For benchmarking their commitment to Reducing emissions uh based on uh 2005 Benchmarks uh what has shifted to your Question in cop 28 is you can only Diplomatically talk about so long uh and So you can set benchmarks you can have Nationally determined contributions uh To the process but eventually industry And others in the private sector have to Get involved and lead to change so what We're seeing now is this conversation About change and one thing that Aaron Pointed out is um not every government And Jack's pretty passionate about this Not every government is taking this just By markets alone right we're getting Very involved and we're seeing this era Of industrial policy and so everybody's Grappling with at this point what the Energy transition means in the context Of these cops and the conversation for Better or worse is galvanizing at the End of the day um at each one of these Events annually I wouldn't say that each Each cop has its own uh magnitude of of Impact uh the next cop in Baku will be Focus principally on uh Finance so you Know right now there's a global Benchmark around hundred billion dollar A year uh to the developing world to Help them address climate that's a a Pledge that uh principally the developed

World is made oecd countries um and They're looking to see that even bigger Now admittedly uh that's been Challenging to fit and and match to Begin with so you know I don't know the Utility in moving that Benchmark further Um if you can't consistently uh achieve What you've set out to do already but Regardless that's how this cop's going To happen I think uh from the Atlantic Council standpoint we spend a lot less Time thinking about the the actual Negotiated process and a lot more about How you have industry and other a part Of the story so that our companies United States government uh and US Companies are engaged uh constructively To make sure that we have a real strong Appreciation of where um our Energy System is moving and maintaining our uh Privacy and centrality to that process Yeah along those lines that again is a Good segue into to what I've been Cooking up for Jack uh which is you know I when we were preparing and we we did Actually prepare uh for this event that I you we have this conventional wisdom That the United States has to respond to China's predatory activities with some Kind of coherent policy and you know When you hear about China dumping Components for solar panels into Vietnam Vietnam assembling them sending them to The us as a Vietnamese product you know

The natural response is to say you know This is this is terrible and it is Actually against our laws this is all Accurate and then you know you have then Climate Envoy car coming out and yelling At the US company that raised this issue Because it was going to prevent the Cheap Chinese solar panels from coming To the United States and that was his His priority in his position then uh but As we've been discussing it both in Terms and this is where I want to look Maybe give you the opportunity to Address both the second and and the Third uh questions but you know China's Anti-competitive practices what are some Of the pitfalls we're going to fall into If we respond to this just through this Conventional wisdom approach because I Really want your views to inform you Know the recommendations we eventually Make on this in in pillar four and it's Not precisely what you might Think look we should always strive for For fair and free trade between Like-minded countries um I'm not sure Where China lies on that but that's not What this issue is About what the Biden Administration has Done is Created a catch22 for every American They created a situation through their Energy their their so-called green Energy

Mandates that essentially forces you the United States to buy from China people Respond to that we shouldn't be buying These things from China so what's the Alternative that we fill a uh our car Factories in Detroit with subsidized EV Manufacturing that we replace American Uh good American coal and natural gas um Producing things with americanmade wind And solar and then what happens when Those subsidies go away you have a Complete collapse of an even broader Swath of the American economy because We've used subsidies and government Policy to Mal Invest massively for these green energy Things inside the United States so we're Left with this Catch 22 either you're Dependent on China or you dedicate Massive swats of your industrial Capacity to this thing that is a Political Manifestation both are really bad Outcomes for every American and that's Why we need to get off of this hamster Wheel of the green energy farce we need Need to um look I would like to see Actual free markets Drive energy policy Let's just at least get back to where we Don't have this completely artificial This artificial energy economy that's Creating all of this that that is Creating uh very distorted investment

Decisions and will cause Mass Disruptions for the American economy um There's just no good outcome if we Continue down this road so that would be I think recognizing both sides of that Is is is one of the critical points that This this report makes and which we will Continue to to hammer in the in the next Three the next three pillars and Erin to What what Jack was just talking about Which is how these policies touch Everyday Americans I can't think of an a Issue besides Energy that touches each And every one of us regardless of our Socioeconomic class regardless of where We live we all need energy to live and Uh on top of that we are looking at and You know I'm training as an art Historian I don't pretend to understand This but the energy demands of Artificial intelligence are going to be Dramatic uh as much of a quarter uh Again what we're consuming right now Over the next five years alone and so You know the fact of the matter is is we Can't do that on on wind and solar can You talk a bit little bit about the Impact on on everyday American lives That that you all looked into as you Were preparing this report sure well a Couple things um is That really as we saw in the history This has been created this whole agenda For the most part has been created by

Elites and It's they're okay in this whole Situation but regular Americans are not For two reasons the first is National Security China controls as um Landon Mention they control the rare earth Supply chain and rare Earths are needed Not only For different things around the world But more importantly they're needed for Our defense needs um and so let's say we Go to war with the grace of God we won't Be but let's say we Do rare Earths go into everything from Joone uh drones to radios to F-35 Fighters and so for us not to have Access to Rare Earth and production and The critical minerals that puts us at a Real disadvantage ourselves and our Allies the second issue is Victoria is Talking about is specifically everyday Households every for everyday Americans And that is the cost of energy energy Creates inflation the cost of energy Creates inflation and everything that we See and do has an energy impact to it Whether it's our agriculture the food we Eat the electricity and the electrical Grid every single aspect of to the fuels In our car of course has an energy Component and the number one issue now Is inflation and that's what's going to Lead um hopefully voters to change their Mind in November simply because we

Cannot continue to tolerate this the American people cannot have this level Of cost on them every single day Now Landon uh one other aspect of this With your history and perspective I was Hoping we could talk about is the United States is not alone in this Vulnerability that we are creating for Ourselves Visa China and I was wondering If you could talk a little bit about Particularly Europe as we you know now Well on our way through year three of The Ukraine War Europe's very real energy Vulnerabilities are are have become Starkly clear to the rest of the world Yet they continue to take uh actions That that don't seem to recognize that Reality and you things like continuing To buy Russian energy things like Shuttering nuclear power plants in in Germany I was wondering if you could Talk a little bit about what you're Seeing in Europe and what if any hope we Have uh for them to change course yeah We're on the cusp of uh elections in Europe and I think um I was in Brussels This past February and you know uh in 2019 uh just given the the global Dynamics the political Dynamics the heft Uh of these issues around energy Transition uh that weighed on on the Populist then um they elected a a Green Wave moved left if you will uh in the

Commission um and you've seen policies That really invigorate uh that as a Baseline it shouldn't be surprising Though because like China Europe is Resource poor so they don't have the Energy resources that we have um some Countries like Norway obviously are the Exception but um But ultimately the United States is blessed with a pretty Strong resource base and and played a Huge role in backfilling the gas supply That uh that dropped off after Russia's Invasion of Ukraine um that said I think Uh they're weighing equally and this is A moment of inflection so um I think It's important uh as Jack says that we Do think about this hamster wheel and Debate how we address policy next steps Because before you can do that you Really have to have appreciation of how We got here um and I think it's Important to reflect on the fact that Um we talk about the the uh overwhelming Control and dominance frankly China has Created around some of these Rare Minerals around uh critical inputs for The clean energy economy um but that Started way before then I mean we moved Back to the 1950s 1960s um in the 1970s China imposed uh regulations on joint Ventures and investment in their country Uh being with domestic origin companies So om om uh the auto manufacturers that Wanted to go there had to build build

Partnerships those Partnerships had Forced uh IP uh sharing and and if They're not taking IP indirectly that Definitely have forced uh companies to To transition this you couple that with Uh uh you know a domestic Market of 1.4 Billion build out markets of scale Through oppressive policies that keep Competition down even when you lift uh You know and I'm talking in this context About the uh electric vehicle Market Even when you live lift the requirements About joint ventures come 2022 um if you Have a command and you own 70% plus of Your domestic Market you're now able to Project that outwards there's no Catching up it's very difficult for uh International competitors whether in Europe or America to now compete with That market and Europe for one has seen That uh impact their domestic Market if You're going through the EV policy and And the Imports of EVS uh they're They're doubling year on year hundreds Of thousands of vehic Les now coming Into the European market and the expense And the challenge here is uh you know European automakers for example have Vested very heavily in the Chinese Market for ice engines but China is Trying to Sunset that so you do get this Catch22 and we have to be really Cognizant that these policies uh this Manipulation of a market process

Actually has real outcomes and I think That's what we're deliberating over uh Right Now well and Jack uh Landon mentioned The ability of the capacity rather of The United States to Surge natural gas Into Europe in the wake of the Ukraine War which uh perhaps I'm biased because I worked in the Trump Administration uh But you know to my understanding that Was largely because of the more Streamlined uh Permitting process allowed those Additional uh facilities to be Constructed that came online Pro you Know Almost Uh Mor miraculously in 2022 to to get That product across the Atlantic at the Heritage Foundation We're deeply committed to Deregulation uh to allow for you know The exercise of free markets and Capitalism can you talk a little bit About what that program might look like If we had a change between uh Administrations and had a more Conservative Approach yeah you know the thing about Energy Market markets and and we see it All the time is that they're Extraordinarily resilient whether it's Uh if they're allowed to operate you Know whether it's conflict in the Middle

East or or Europe or wherever our Hydrocarbon markets gas oil and coal are Very resilient um and that's because you Have had Decades of investment in those Industries um because that's what people Want and use um what we've seen more Recently Is greater restrictions on those markets To the point where I mean um President Biden in the campaign said he's going to Shut them all down and uh and the result Of that is a loss of that resiliency a Inability to as effectively respond to Challenges um over time I think what we Will see under a conservative Administration is a reversion back to Allowing energy markets to work as they Should that that doesn't mean we'll Produce more or less energy it means That we will produce the amount of Energy we need to feed the economy if It's more then we will be able to to Export more um to produce more to get That th those molecules uh where they Need to go um we've seen things like the The Biden Administration with their Decision uh to put a a pause on Additional um natural gas exports these Are all things that chill the that chill Investment we've seen this on um you Know the multi it costs billions of Dollars to build new um you know uh new New uh factories and and and things and They just can't do it whenever the

Administration is saying we're going to Shut you down and so I think we'll see a Reverse reversion of that there's There's got to be um reform on some of The environmental policy like the National Environmental Policy Act which Just everyone acknowledges is is has Become onerous um I think a big thing Will be opening up development on Federal lands we've seen this Administration take massive swaths of Federal land out of commission for Development and for no good reason I Mean they they will portray it as a good Reason they will say we're protecting This thing or that thing but the fact of The matter is none of this development You know the thing that comes to mind is They they uh there was a bunch of land Around the Grand Canyon that they took Offline for um for Uranium development And to read their press conferences you Would think that people would be mining In the Grand Canyon no one's mining in The Grand Canyon um it would be far away From the Grand Canyon but it's still Part of that federal estate and I think That um really across the board opening Up federal lands for energy development Allowing um giving the private sector The confidence that it can make these Investments without the government Trying to shut you down will be Gamechanging going

Forward excellent thank you well I think We can move on now to our uh to our Audience questions and answers I will Give you guys opportunity at the Conclusion to make any points that I I Missed but if uh we have Mike's here in The room if you could uh stand up state Your name and affiliation and to whom You're addressing your question or you Can just save for the whole panel Okay uh hi uh my name is Kevin Mooney I Work here at the daily signal of the Heritage Foundation um I'll ask this in A little bit of a cheeky way is there Anything Biden and his minions are doing That a paid foreign agent of China would Do differently if the answer is no Should the president register as a Foreign Agent Aaron do you wanna Sure um no you're exactly right it's Exactly what China would be doing right Now and we're seeing It should he that's not my call but Yeah Got maybe you two can pass that mic back And forth sure hello uh my name is Eric Meltzer I'm with Meltzer and Associates Um the question I have is what are your Thoughts on Elon musk's visit to China Last week with premier Le Chong um it Seems to be a bit of a paradox that um Musk is advocating for freedom of speech But does a lot of business with the

CCP and how much could his business Dealings with Tesla in China um benefit The CCP and harm us interests talking About Batteries overtly when you think about Elon musk's business model right in Tesla um and China's dominance over the The battery value chain um and the Growth of of peer competitors like byd Um and CHL you know they have to I don't Know a situation in which this is Exactly where the conversation starts Today China has incubated a policy Process that makes people have to Gravitate to them as opposed to uh how We've done business successfully for for The past Century um and we have to Grapple with uh not necessarily Eon musk Uh but uh how the United States as Partners and allies respond to that um Effectively because um obviously a Situation where there's a century of Chinese control over our energy Resources I don't think is anything that Uh a policy maker in Washington DC Certainly I would not uh be an advocate For I totally agree with that I would I Would Say I'm not going to comment on the Player but I'll comment on the game and This is the game that the that this Administration has created it's a it's The series of it's this ecosystem that It's created

That makes it such that Elon Musk or Whomever you know has much to benefit by Going in engaging the these guys so um You know one can criticize Elon I guess That's not where I'm at I'm more Concerned about the public policies that Create the system that make it Advantageous for him and others to do That Right wait Hi my name is Trevor kadney and I work With the Department of Homeland Security Um I guess my big question would be um I Mean to what extent Can America do you Know grapple this challenge alone and to What extent do we need to have you know European allies or other allies and um You know parties on board um just Because you know when I think of so many Of these issues um you know if the rest Of the world is going towards green Energy anyways China will still be you Know enhancing its own position Visa the Rest of the world and you know you look At things like the European Union Thinking about putting a carbon tax on Imports um and so much of the areas that You can explore for energy would come Outside of the United States so I guess I'm just sort of asking about I mean to What extent um to what extent Can America do this alone and what can be Done if necessary to s of bring other Allies who might be more invested in you

Know the climate agenda aboard thank you I think the United States should show Some real climate leadership here by Rejecting the whole idea from a policy Standpoint I think that there are lots Of countries who would love for the United States to stand up and and not Reject climate science but reject the Way climate science has been portrayed As as as as um there being a consensus Around it saying We need to look more at this and the State the actual state of climate Science is not such that we should re Reorient the entire economy around that And while we continue to to to look into That we're going to continue to move Forward with what has literally lifted Millions of people out of poverty over The last 200 years which is a a a hydro Which is uh allowing markets to drive Energy policy forward for the most part And I think that we would have lots of Countries come in behind us and I would Say one further thing this notion that Because the rest of the world is doing Something therefore the United States Should do it if the thing they are doing Is corrupt and immoral then we shouldn't Do it and if it's based on bad economics We shouldn't do it because it will Collapse it will collapse so we can take Advantage of if if people want to keep Doing that knock yourself out um we need

To show real climate leadership which is Doing something different than everyone Else seems to be doing right now Jack And I have had pretty impassioned Conversations around this issue and I Think it's worth it's worth Listening no I I think the the point of This this report and this Pro process That Heritage Foundation is going Through is identify is there a Successful path word uh path forward With that kind of policy um what you're Portraying in this question I think is Where I see the general conversation Today which is whether we agree on the Timeline of the trajectory whether and How politics vacillate uh how we get There there does be there does seem to Be a sense of inevitability in the air Right now um I think this report's Challenging whether or not that can Change in the interim it's important to Think about what we're prioritizing Though too is this about climate is this About emissions is this about Competitiveness is about economies I Really ultimately think this is about Security and the future of the Free World and democracies and I think the Fact that we've allowed uh the CCP to to Gain this level of of control over uh an Energy system is is a concern and we Should be concerned and I and I would Tell you I think that I would find if I

Was to travel internationally certainly Within the G7 actually much more Continuity in that that position than uh Some may think I don't know that we have The solutions but we're exercising that Effort right now and I applaud the Heritage Foundation for at least pushing That that envelope because we have to Have this debate Aon did you have an Intervention we will see in time like we Did with the 5G we will see the Europeans they're starting to get upset About their own electric Vehicles um and their own markets and We're going to see more and more if the United States leads other we do need Allies we do need more than just Ourselves in in this in this fight and We'll see the gulf too while the gulf Hosted the last cop that you were both At and they said the first time we're Going to start really unraveling fals Fuels well they've got years and years Of fossil fuel capability left I don't Think they're going to give that up Tomorrow so I do think think we're going To have our allies with us well and that Really is the point you know of of this Report because one quite frankly of our Biggest challenges in the Trump Administration was the realization of What was happening with 5G our lack of Tools to combat it and having to have a A knockdown drag out brawl with the

United Kingdom over 5G uh which you know It it it's painful when you have an ally That close both in you know economics Security uh pretty much every english- Speaking uh any sector you care to Mention you know that that that that was That close uh you know that that this Really can be a huge problem for us So hi Jennifer dooey with Bloomberg News Um we've talked a lot about the problem Here and I was hoping we could just Drill down a little bit more on the Potential solution um I I gather uh Jack Doesn't think it's subsidizing uh the Industries domestically and I appreciate Uh you know uh the desire to change the Conversation around climate short of Getting you know local and state Governments and corporations in the US To buy into that too I wonder if there Is a role for more tariffs more Protectionism uh particularly to counter Uh Market manipulation that we're seeing In some of these industries clearly the Solar industry is pursuing that Today that's for the whole Panel I wouldn't be uh I would not be a huge fan of more Tariffs or as I call them taxes on the American people for their deci decision To buy things abroad if we're concerned About China then we then we should do That but not um not for not to Protect some other domestic uh uh

Industry that is itself dependent on Policy and subsidies but I'm even more Against it because we haven't done the Million things we need to do Domestically order to be able to compete We can't why don't we um loosen up the Environmental regulations that have been On an upward trajectory for years why Don't we treat Capital uh more uh uh uh Sanely so that we're so that American Businesses can be more competitive why Don't we not you know President Biden Now wants to make America to lead the World in business taxes that's not the Way to rebuild an industry there are a Million things we can do to make America More competitive let's do those things And if we still can't compete then maybe Talk about tariffs maybe they'll work This time I don't Know but in the absence in the absence Of Alternatives I do think that there's A consistent Pace in which you know Climate border adustment mechanisms and Other tools of trade are becoming the Invogue way of addressing climate policy So um you know if we can't articulate Another path forward uh and I think it Probably needs to be legislated not just Through executive orders that waffle Back and forth between Administrations um you know you're going To see a fairly persistent pace of of Climate and Emissions entering into the

Trade conversation which is inevitably Also a tariff conversation um and given The scale of complexity in these Supply Chains look it doesn't mean it can't be Changed it doesn't mean a uh Trump Administration wouldn't change that Policy but right now that seems to be The trajectory uh we're headed On I think it depends upon what where we Are with our our national security and The energy situation if we have a Conservative uh president come in it's Very highly likely that there would be Tariffs put on that's that's highly Likely and in my opinion it's necessary Because with the Eves coming in and Flooding in over the border and the way That they're putting up the ability in In Mexico and pushing them over they're Going to crush our own Industries and They're going going to tie continue to Tie our our hands and so the fastest way That you can uh go up against our number One adversary in the world is to put put Tariffs High tariffs on on what they Want to export the most in Dump I hope that before we use Tariffs To Subsidize American EV Manufacturing um we work to get rid of The EV mandates so that the demand that We're trying to protect is an organic And sustainable demand and not one that

Is itself dependent on policy because my Fear is that if you're protecting an Industry that is itself a function of Bad policy through tariffs you will end Up with an very difficult economic Matter to deal with with at some future Point I think we can all agree that Ending the EV mandate is a policy we can Get Behind Mark Mark ler I've heard that uh Mining for these Rare Earth uh minerals That you need for Ev batteries is Causing uh severe e uh environmental Damage in places like China is that true And if so why don't we why aren't we Hearing more about That the environmental standards that China upholds are very different than Ours so almost anything that they do Regarding development that has an Environmental impact will probably be Greater than what happens in the United States or a Western Country um to me However that's a China problem the US Problem is is that uh I should also say That China mines and engages in other Economic Activities with that that impact the Environment in a negative way should be Is a comment on China not on the Activity so it's sometimes framed as I Don't know that you meant to frame it This way but it is sometimes framed that It's the mining for critical Min

Minerals that is the problem it is not It is the China that is the problem the China that's the problem we'll call it That we'll e like that um Instead as I mentioned before there we Can we can do mining in the United States in an environmentally friendly Way that's not heavily regulated um That's what we should be doing not Because China is deciding to pollute Itself if that's what it wants to do They're grown people there they can do What they want but we shouldn't be Hamstringing Ourselves um and not being able to mine At all because of a fear of Environmental degradation we can do it Cleanly but just one one point to add And that is China is not only doing it In their own country what they're doing In the developing world and most Importantly in Africa and they are just Tearing them to shreds and taking their Own wealth out of those people's hands And and using child labor and their Standards are diabolical well you you Hear it but not in the Mainstream media um and so it's yeah It is inconvenient for climate narrative What's inconvenient for a lot of us who Use I who use technology I mean I mean It's not I mean we talk about it but When I say all of us I mean in the Grandest sort of

Way and Andrew do we have any online Questions got time for about one more And then move to closing remarks sure we Have one online question um that's Looking into how we talked about the Values hyber carons and and and the Value about that energy trajectory Through a conservative perspective There's also a question looking at how Can we recapture and reshape the Environmental agenda to a more reality Based agenda saying the context of Renewable energy does it play a role how Do the markets incorporate that how can From a conservative angle can Renewables Be a factor moving forward well did you Want to take the first bite of that I Didn't catch the full question go in the Back end there Again sure we're looking at how can we Recapture and reshape the environmental Agenda to a more reality based Agenda I think it this starts with where Our Baseline is you know um it's very Easy to backcast uh climate standards And take a a point of emissions where The climate movement wants to be I think The complexity um of getting to that Benchmark um isn't linear though and This is why we're having conversations Around the economics principally around The security aspects of China and so you Know the technology a lot of this Technology is pioneered and innovated in

America whether through the US Government or through Private Industry We've done both uh and and it's been Refined and so I don't have an issue With the technology I think what we're Having an issue with and the challenge Is is that one economy through uh uh Unfair business practices inexpensive Cheap labor um and uh and frankly Dirtier energy right 60% of China's git Is on coal uh is is capitalizing and mon Monopolizing this segment of the market Of which uh there's a push to make that The prim primary and principal s side of Uh the energy sector of the future so I Think for me um the technolog is not the Challenge it really is the China to take Jack's words uh the China problem here That uh that is Weighing on how we think About renewable energy I think we can be Advocates for clean energy and should be To the degree that they're happening in A market uh that allows the United States its partners and allies to excel As well I agree with that um I mean look if People present it as there's this Balance that we have to strike between Energy and the environment that's not True the the more developed Society Becomes the more energy they use and you Know what else happens the cleaner the Environment becomes we've seen it time And again country after country in our

Own country actual pollutants the Particulate matter ozone all of these Things the criteria pollutants that the EPA regulates have gone down Dramatically in over the last couple of Decades all while having immense Economic growth so this idea that we Can't have economic growth and Protecting environment just isn't true Um look at the poorest countries around The world it's not like they're sitting Around in environmental Paradise they Are in degradated economy so what we From a conservative standpoint what we Should be seeking is economic Development and then understanding the Role that energy plays in that and what Hydrocarbons have been a a have been the Key to that over the last couple hundred Years so the question is moving forward I would Argue the best way if one cares about Renewables or one wants to move away From hydrocarbons it shouldn't be driven By government what that will do is Virtually assure that whatever the Government picks will um will will exist In mediocrity forever what we should do Is allow the market to drive technology Forward just like Cole took the place of Wh oil something will the it's a it's a A multi-trillion dollar industry there's All the incentive in the world for Someone to figure out a way to produce

Energy cheaper that's all and and the Market is the best way to do that allow Capital to flow towards the best ideas That's how you overcome hydrocarbons if That's what you want to do keep you know The government should set a predictable Regulatory environment that's not too Heavy and allow people and businesses to Do their thing well and uh being mindful Of of C fan which is taping so we have To conclude sharply at at 3 Aaron you've Got about 45 seconds to make any point That you would like to make that we Missed sure I don't think we missed Anything I think we covered it and could Go on for days but uh I just want to say That China is not a partner of ours in The um in the whole environment issue And and the energy environment they're Going to continue to do what they want To do for as long as they want they are Starting up two coal Burning uh um Plants dirty coal uh per week and have An amazing trajectory across their Provinces to continue to do this and They believe that they are still Developing and as long as they're still Developing and becoming more um and Growing more they're going to do what They want to do so I think we need to be Very realistic as that uh questioner had Asked um about what we're facing in Terms of our own National Security Jack I would say that while we

Need to be very concerned about what China is doing and recognizing that we Are playing exactly into their hands we Need to be more concerned with what We're doing we are making the policy Decisions we are the ones who are making It easy for China to take advantage of Us and if we stay on this trajectory We're going to find ourselves in a very Difficult Place economically um and from A national security Standpoint let me uh foot stomp Something we have talked about a little Bit but really need to hammer down which Is security it's really where this Conversation's going to drive from here There's a reason uh Beijing is Prioritizing National Security data Privacy cyber security you think about The the communication of the systems of The future The increased digitalization Also of some of these clean energy Resources and you're getting realtime Data um including with lar including the Layouts that could map a room like this And so I think um the next iteration of This conversation really is going to Hone in on the security component I Think it's incredibly important that we Do and uh and I think it'll be a Catalyst for change including in the Conversations around uh supercomputing And other topics excellent well we can End right on time thank you Landon for

Teasing pillar two which uh if you can Keep your eyes open for the announcement Of its arrival in the next six to eight Weeks will focus on the military Dimension of this problem and uh and all Of the ramifications of that so thank You to the Heritage found Heritage Foundation for hosting this event thank You all for attending thank you to those Of you who joined us online uh have a Wonderful rest of your day

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