Why This Photo voltaic Firm CEO Needs to Drill, Construct Pipelines, and ‘Deploy All Varieties of Vitality’

Drew Bond, co-founder and president of C3 Options, is a serial entrepreneur. Having based a number of corporations within the vitality trade, he now leads a corporation that helps conservatives counter the Left’s radical environmental concepts.

“I’d argue that many conservatives are, in actual fact, higher environmentalists than many within the environmental group,” Bond tells The Each day Sign.

Bond brings to the job expertise as a photo voltaic firm CEO who’s obsessed with increasing all sorts of American vitality, together with drilling and pipelines to fulfill the wants of U.S. shoppers. He additionally beforehand was chief of workers to then-Heritage Basis President Edwin J. Feulner. (The Each day Sign is the media outlet of The Heritage Basis.)

Hearken to the complete interview on “The Each day Sign Podcast” or learn a evenly edited transcript beneath.

Rob Bluey: Inform us concerning the origin of C3 Options and the way two conservatives, your self and John Hart, ended up beginning the group.

Drew Bond: I assume all people’s life is an fascinating journey, however as you recognize, I had the pleasure of being chief of workers at The Heritage Basis below Ed Feulner for, I assume, 4 years, after which CEO of townhall.com. And so Townhall really was my first startup.

Then fast-forward to immediately, I’m a serial entrepreneur. I’ve bought, I assume, 5 startups below my belt, and a number of other of them within the vitality house and a few technology-related, and usually simply discover myself within the house of seeking to clear up issues. And I feel that’s the place I had spent that point at Heritage and first lower my enamel on Capitol Hill years in the past with Don Nickles, a senator from Oklahoma. And that’s the place I met John Hart, who’s the co-founder with me at C3 Options.

And John was a longtime communications director for Tom Coburn, simply probably the greatest individuals and conservatives that you simply’ll ever discover, who sadly handed on. So John was his comms director all through his total profession, Home and Senate. And so we bought to know one another via that after which stayed in contact through the years.

And extra just lately, I assume proper earlier than we began C3 Options in Might of 2020, the prior summer time, we began to reconnect and over a humorous little factor, that you simply discover that conservatives even have this stuff in our lives that we don’t take into account to be environmental causes, however we do care so much about. And that’s John had purchased a 62-acre farm in Maryland, and he was fairly enthusiastic about stewarding his land and studying easy methods to actually look after it.

And one in all my startups is definitely a photo voltaic firm, and so I’ve an organization known as PowerField Vitality. We don’t make any of the photo voltaic panels or electrical tools, we simply make a quite simple set up system for making photo voltaic sooner and simpler to put in, and we make it in america. And I by no means thought I’d be within the photo voltaic enterprise, however once more, it goes again to problem-solving.

I discovered an concept that was price commercializing, and right here I’m. And so we have been each on his farm speaking about placing photo voltaic on his farm and we bought giggle out of the truth that there’s a whole lot of conservatives that truly care so much concerning the setting, we simply don’t communicate the language of the environmental Left. And I’d argue that many conservatives are, in actual fact, higher environmentalists than many within the environmental group. Farmers, I’d say, are the primary environmentalists.

And so we simply realized that there’s a niche out there, {the marketplace} of concepts, particularly the place we felt like conservatives actually wanted to get on offense on this problem. And never simply the setting, however particularly local weather, which has actually turn out to be nomenclature for all issues vitality, setting, and local weather change.

So we did somewhat little bit of our personal market discovery course of, as any good entrepreneurs ought to do, and located that there was compelling want within the market for this. And so we launched in 2020 and right here we’re, I assume, nearly two and a half, three years later.

Bluey: So typically it does appear that conservatives are taking part in protection on vitality and local weather points. How will we go on offense and what are these recommendation and the information that you’ve got, not just for perhaps people who find themselves listening to this, however the policymakers in Washington who’re setting the agenda?

Bond: C3 Options stands for the Conservative Coalition for Local weather Options. So we very deliberately put “conservative” and “local weather” in our title, but additionally deliberately put “options” in our title as a result of a lot of the dialogue globally has been targeted on local weather change goes to lead to ending the world and the sky’s falling, and all of us have to look to authorities to resolve all of our issues. And we simply know that’s essentially fallacious.

And so I feel it actually begins with conservatives being prepared to interact on the problem to say, “Look, climates change, it’s altering actual, it’s human-induced in some respects. There’s pure components of local weather change, and there’s unnatural components of local weather change. And so the unnatural ones, the man-made ones, let’s see what we are able to do to be sure that we cut back our impression on the setting and on the climates globally, and depart this place higher than we discovered it.”

And that’s essentially a conservative precept. So I feel conservatives have actually began, over the past couple years, to be unafraid to speak about local weather.

For the longest time, it was solely a struggle concerning the science and the projections. And you may argue about that each one day lengthy, however the actuality is that it doesn’t matter what you imagine about local weather, and I exploit the phrase “perception” hesitantly as a result of it has turn out to be considerably of a faith, however it doesn’t matter what you concentrate on local weather, whether or not you suppose it’s taking place or not taking place, someplace in between, the options are all the time free market-driven.

And so we really feel like that is the suitable territory for conservatives and free market-thinking individuals to enter it with actual options as a result of if we don’t, we’re going to lose the problem, and we’re going to lose future generations that care about this problem.

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Bluey: One of many issues that I discovered significantly useful within the work that you simply do are the values that information C3 Options. And you’ve got seven of them. With out going via each one in all them intimately, inform us about why these are essential and the way they information your work.

Bond: Ideas are critically essential for holding you on the suitable path. And I feel one in all our first ideas is that persons are first. And so why we care concerning the planet and we need to depart it higher than we discovered it, you’ll be able to’t save the planet on the expense of individuals. And so the true environmentalism actually should be what’s finest for individuals across the planet.

And so then you definately’ve bought to have a look at, what do we all know traditionally has labored and what has not labored? And we all know that the free enterprise system works, we all know that financial freedom results in a cleaner setting. And we even took the long-standing report that Heritage has revealed for, what, nearly 30 years, I feel 27, 28 years now.

Heritage does the Index of Financial Freedom, which ranks international locations around the globe by way of how free they’re, by way of enterprise freedom and particular person freedom, how massive is the federal government and the way intrusive is it and so forth. And also you see that monitor file of those governments.

And it seems, if you overlay that knowledge, the Index of Financial Freedom, with different environmental knowledge—and so we used Yale, Yale College has an Environmental Efficiency Index—what you see is that financial freedom results in a cleaner setting. And it’s not simply by somewhat, it’s by so much. It’s twice as a lot.

So international locations which are economically free are twice as clear as international locations which are economically unfree. And this proves out even simply anecdotally. I imply, if you happen to have a look at Venezuela, you have a look at China, you have a look at Russia, I imply, choose your nation, choose your taste of communism, socialism, dictatorships, Venezuela, none of these international locations are good for the setting.

And if you have a look at international locations that actually care about financial freedom and lowering the general burden of presidency in individuals’s lives, you see that folks care concerning the setting, individuals make particular person decisions to depart issues higher than they discovered them.

So there’s a whole lot of ideas in there however I feel, essentially, probably the most single essential precept is individuals should be first, and positively the planet is a part of that calculus. And the way in which that you simply really sq. that circle is thru financial freedom.

Bluey: Many individuals, not simply right here in america, however the world over, are struggling, in some respects, given the excessive price of vitality. We see it once we replenish our tank of gasoline, or we see it in the price of different merchandise that depend on vitality for his or her creation. It’s on the minds of many Individuals as Election Day approaches. For those who may wave a magic wand, what would you do to handle a few of these challenges?

Bond: I’d begin by growing American vitality manufacturing, and that’s interval, enhance American vitality manufacturing, interval. America really is the biggest vitality producer on the planet, we do it cleaner than anyone else on the planet.

And so this concept that, below this present administration, the pipelines will not be acceptable, and so as a substitute of getting a pure gasoline pipeline, we’re going to have merely a pipeline of 18-wheeler vehicles, trucking gasoline down the highway. And so if you happen to actually care concerning the setting, which a kind of is best for the setting? A pipeline or a protracted line of vehicles? Issues like that.

There’s environmental legal guidelines and allowing restrictions in america which are really holding clear vitality tasks from being deployed, being constructed. And never simply clear vitality, I imply, choose your vitality, whether or not it’s pure gasoline or nuclear, or photo voltaic, wind, hydro, you title it.

There’s this environmental legislation that’s been on the books for nearly 50 years, the NEPA, because it’s known as, the Nationwide Environmental Coverage Act. And that was meant to guard the setting. And now, if you happen to actually care concerning the setting by way of lowering greenhouse gasoline emissions, then it’s worthwhile to deploy extra vitality sooner, and it should be cleaner vitality, which, by and huge, is American vitality.

And so we actually have to unleash the personal sector to have the ability to construct extra sooner, and right here in america, and be capable of export that around the globe for when we now have extra, and significantly with our allies.

So I feel, yeah, if I had a magic wand, I’d open up all alternatives to drill and construct pipelines and deploy all sorts of vitality right here in america as quick as doable.

Bluey: Are there issues that the following Congress would be capable of do to doubtlessly problem the Biden administration on the factors that you simply’ve simply made? Or is it actually going to rely on having any individual else within the White Home with the intention to enact the agenda you outlined?

Bond: It looks like these environmental rules, as an example, have been a little bit of a pingpong ball. Underneath the Trump administration, they really made nice strides to place in place streamlining of allowing for tasks and a whole lot of issues on the bureaucratic degree. They simplified processes and compelled tasks to be recognized by way of one web page even.

And that may sound like a small factor, however to have the ability to really go from having to submit an software that’s lots of of pages to a single web page saves corporations money and time and permits us to provide tasks sooner.

So below the Trump administration, they really did a whole lot of good issues. The Biden administration got here in and utterly wiped that away. Extra just lately, they’ve made some strides to attempt to tip their hat somewhat bit to a few of these NEPA reforms.

Even below the negotiations below the so-called Inflation Discount Act, there was that quid professional quo, mainly, the place Sen. [Joe] Manchin was given the promise that after he agreed to spend all this cash, that he would get his environmental reform allowing course of voted on and hopefully executed.

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Properly, what occurred, in fact, is we spent all this cash, however we don’t have any allowing reform. And a big a part of the rationale we don’t is as a result of the environmental group and the environmental Left in Congress has opposed it.

And so whereas they are saying that local weather change is crucial problem on the planet and so they say that, in some circumstances, excessive circumstances, they are saying that the world’s going to finish in 10 years if we don’t do one thing about it, effectively, they’ll’t appear to get out of their very own approach with the intention to really deploy these applied sciences.

So I imply, even if you happen to wished to deploy extra photo voltaic and wind sooner, and solely photo voltaic and wind, good luck, since you’re going to move straight into these environmental rules. After which, oh, by the way in which, as a lot as photo voltaic and wind are nice in some locations, they’re not nice all over the place and so they’re not nice on a regular basis, we want backup energy.

And so I feel, again to your query, it stays to be seen. If we find yourself with a divided Congress the place we’ve bought Republicans main the Home and hopefully the Senate, and we’ve bought [President Joe] Biden within the White Home, I’m unsure that this administration, his individuals in his White Home particularly, and the coverage outlets may ever conform to get something executed. It looks as if they’d slightly use local weather as a political soccer. So it might take an entire new administration.

Bluey: One of many issues that we’re advocating at The Heritage Basis is a strong agenda. We are able to’t simply be against one thing, we now have to be for one thing. And as you mentioned earlier, having these options is actually a part of the equation. What can we study from the present vitality disaster in Europe? Is it a warning of what may occur right here in America?

Bond: The brief reply is sure, it’s completely a warning of what may occur in America and wherever on the planet.

I imply, I’d say that, look, local weather change is actual and let’s take into account the truth that dangerous local weather coverage is definitely doubtlessly extra harmful than dangerous local weather change. I’ll say it once more, dangerous local weather coverage is doubtlessly extra harmful than dangerous local weather change.

And that’s what we’re seeing play out in Germany proper now, is you’ve bought a government-led initiative the place they mentioned, “We’re going to go all-in on photo voltaic, we’re going to do away with nuclear, we’re going to do away with coal.” As a result of they went all-in on photo voltaic and wind, they needed to get pure gasoline from someplace as a backup baseload energy, and so they bought that from Russia, which, really, their gasoline isn’t near being as clear as america’ gasoline.

So within the title of the setting, they went all-in on photo voltaic and wind and Russian pure gasoline. And now that Russia, and significantly [Russian President Vladimir] Putin, has invaded Ukraine, you’re seeing that Germany’s now in a really unstable, insecure vitality place. And that’s having ripple results throughout all of Europe.

And so that you’ve bought governments calling for vitality rationing. And sadly, it’s authorities coverage that put them on this place, and now authorities coverage is coming in to attempt to repair it.

I feel what we now have to acknowledge is that there’s all the time unintended penalties to coverage. And so it doesn’t make sense to go all-in on anybody explicit piece of expertise sort of vitality. And once more, this isn’t a faith, it shouldn’t be a faith. Vitality is a expertise, and also you’ve bought trade-offs and also you’ve bought prices and advantages.

And so, look, photo voltaic and wind are good in some locations and never good in different, and nuclear vitality, nice in a whole lot of locations, however perhaps you don’t need to put it somewhere else.

Despite the truth that it’s the most secure type of vitality on the market and in addition the cleanest from a greenhouse gasoline emission perspective, pure gasoline, even coal for that matter, I imply, coal has been demonized and staff within the coal trade have been demonized. And look, with innovation, who is aware of, I imply, coal may really be the expertise at some point that it in actual fact helps save the local weather.

Nobody knew what innovation was going to lead to when you concentrate on our pure gasoline trade in america. We thought we have been working into additional and additional depleting sources. We have been importing vitality, not exporting it. And thru innovation, due to innovation, we’re now exporting vitality around the globe.

I feel we exported one thing like, this 12 months, we’ll export like 16% extra vitality this 12 months than final 12 months to the remainder of the world.

So innovation actually is the important thing. Vitality variety, vitality abundance, reliability, all of these issues, we have to test the packing containers on it.

And I simply proceed to return to, after I first bought into the vitality house, the rationale I did was we, as america, have been beholden to the Center East for our vitality sources and I simply thought that’s loopy.

I imply, any good individual, and also you don’t should be even that good, if you wish to put your cash right into a checking account or a 401(okay), I feel most individuals need to see that cash diversified. And so once we take into consideration our vitality sources and vitality provides for us by way of our meals and water and every kind of sources, I need numerous, dependable, ample, reasonably priced vitality sources, interval.

Bluey: One of many issues that I’m involved about that would actually get in the way in which of that’s this effort on the a part of the Left, which is named ESG. It’s an environmental, social, governance framework. What ought to Individuals learn about ESG and the way it’s driving modifications in our society proper now?

Bond: This has turn out to be a extremely scorching matter as a result of it’s all within the context of the woke motion. And so ESG, as you mentioned, it stands for environmental, social, and governance. I attempt to be an optimist about these items. And so I feel after I have a look at the place it began, I feel there are some good intentions behind it.

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Folks need their corporations to be … a greater steward of their setting, a greater steward of their sources, a greater steward of their communities. I feel all people desires that. However if you begin mandating that corporations should act a sure approach and embrace sure environmental and social causes, then that’s if you begin to run into actual issues.

And I feel that’s why we’re seeing a backlash in that motion proper now, is as a result of they’ve, if something, most likely emphasised the environmental and the social perspective of it, and fewer so the governance. And I’d argue that any firm that’s ruled effectively goes to care concerning the environmental and the social implications of how and the place it does enterprise.

So I simply suppose, look, if you happen to actually care about being a worthwhile firm in a capitalist, free market society, then you definately’re going to care about the way you do enterprise and who you do enterprise with. And so that you’re going to be steward and citizen locally.

And I feel the opposite factor that’s been misplaced in all of this ESG motion is, I imply, a lot of it’s about, what’s your local weather aim? And all people’s attempting to one-up themselves or the following firm over, “Are you going to fulfill zero carbon by 2050 or 2045? Or heck, let’s simply do it in 2030, why not?” Properly, that each one defies actuality. If you wish to actually tackle local weather, we need to transfer as accelerated as doable, however in a way that can be dependable and reasonably priced and accountable.

We additionally should needless to say simply since you deploy photo voltaic and wind right here in america, you’ve bought to make these applied sciences someplace. And in lots of circumstances, they’re really created from fossil fuels. In order that’s not a foul factor, however the environmental group appears to disregard that truth.

After which the place are you getting your minerals? And the place are you mining these minerals from? And what labor requirements are you using to mine these? Are you utilizing slave labor? Are you utilizing little one labor? Or are you dwelling as much as the upper requirements that we now have right here in America?

So all of this ESG motion appears to not take an precise full-picture strategy and perspective of this, and so they simply need to mandate their very own values on these corporations, and forcing them into making choices that aren’t all the time good for individuals and aren’t all the time pretty much as good for the planet as marketed.

Bluey: What are a few of the greatest myths that you simply encounter concerning the setting or local weather in your line of labor?

Bond: Oh, man, there’s so many. The largest one nowadays is that the local weather is altering so quickly that if we don’t repair it within the subsequent 10 years, then we’re all doomed. I imply, that’s what’s being offered to the world.

Many college students, I imply, you begin to see this with children across the nation, that they’ve bought what’s turning into a medically identified situation of local weather anxiousness. And all of it stems from this overhype of how dangerous the issue is, which ignores the truth that, all proper, if the local weather is altering and we have to do one thing about it and we have to cut back our greenhouse gasoline emissions as quick as doable, effectively, how briskly can we do it, once more, reliably and affordably, and with good resilience? And let’s do it in a approach that’s accountable and let’s discuss that in a accountable approach.

So, I imply, I feel that’s the greatest fantasy, is that we are able to in some way simply go all-in wind and photo voltaic and that’s going to avoid wasting the planet, when, once more, nothing in opposition to wind and photo voltaic, and like I mentioned, I’ve a photo voltaic firm, however to go all-in, 100% wind and photo voltaic, can be madness. It might not be dependable, it might not be reasonably priced, and it simply wouldn’t make sense.

And so I feel the environmental group is overselling the alarmism of local weather and overselling the advantages of renewables, when in actual fact we simply want a rational, sensible, diversified strategy.

Bluey: As a father of three children and any individual who is aware of, whether or not or not it’s via education or simply media broadly, they’re, in some ways, indoctrinated from a really early age with a sure perspective on the problems we’ve been speaking about. So how can we as conservatives attain that youthful era of Individuals with the message that we’ve been speaking about immediately?

Bond: You’ve bought three children, I’ve bought six children. It’s an essential problem. Like I mentioned, I feel children actually care about local weather. Once you ballot them, local weather change is among the prime three points that they care about. And so I feel it’s essential to level them to dependable sources that take a full-picture strategy right here. I imply, Heritage is a kind of, actually.

C3, as part of our efforts to teach individuals, children included on this, we now have a information journal simply known as C3. And so, if you happen to go to c3newsmag.com, there, we attempt to promote the innovation that’s taking place around the globe and the truth that there’s a whole lot of good issues, there’s a whole lot of innovation that’s personal sector-led, there’s a whole lot of free market competitors, and all the time attempting to level towards options and underscore the truth that it’s the personal sector, it’s free markets, and it’s not the federal government that’s going to resolve these challenges.

And so, I feel attempt to level them to good, dependable sources, and hopefully our information journal is a kind of.

The Each day Sign interviews people with quite a lot of views. Nothing right here is to be construed as representing the views of The Heritage Basis.

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