Americas reliable energy resources are being attacked on all levels. When was the last time a nuclear power plant was built in America? Even hydro electric dams are under assault & being torn down in the name of environmentalism. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said he would like to see our gasoline prices the same as Europeans. Of course environmentalists on the left have been waging war on coal, oil and gas for years.
This mindset couldn't have been any more apparent when I was attacked for writing a column about governments "war on coal".
An environmentalist had his simplistic answer to my column on the war on coal. He just claimed that "coal kills" and people needed to revert to a simpler lifestyle, use less energy and make that energy "green". He bragged how he used wood to heat his home, along with wind and solar. He tried to stay "off the grid" as much as possible, in the rural lifestyle he enjoys. Of course on further questioning, he did admit to the use of "auxiliary power" in order to supplement his off the grid lifestyle for cooking and refrigeration.
He suggested people move out of cities to get closer to nature and live off the grid. It was certainly interesting listening to him with his simple answer to stave off the pending "climate crisis" and save the world....All of the simple answers without thinking about the consequences to society. In Washington, that same mindset of government planners who know what's best for us is on vivid display. They are not afraid to let reason stand in the way of their Utopian plan. Their plan will, like in the movie, take us "back to the future"
For the millions of people who don't have access to firewood, or govt subsidized solar, or wind systems to supplement their power needs, there is still the need for plentiful cheap power.
The world has seen other Utopian dreamers in the past. China's Premiere, Mao, ordered his "great leap forward" to modernize China. Reports are that over 60 million people died of exposure and starvation in 4 years.
Americas engine of prosperity is powered by cheap and nowadays relatively clean energy, this is the backbone of American might. We are still a great manufacturing country in spite of inroads by other countries. But our new high tech information age, is requiring the use of even more power.
Companies such as Google and Apple use the power equivalent of small cities in order to keep their data centers providing vast amounts of information. Many of these power hungry companies, although waving the "green banner," are quietly moving their data centers, to other states that have lower cost electricity powered by coal.
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We have already seen a great migration of American companies to foreign shores, due to lower labor costs, less taxation and far less regulation. How long will it be before the next impetus for Corporations to leave our shores is due to high energy prices? President Obama already said his policies would necessarily make our utility prices skyrocket? I believe he was telling the truth
I asked Janet Gellici, the CEO of the American Coal Council, to give me an idea of the assault her sector of energy producers was under by the Obama administration:
She said "The Obama Administration’s intent has been to increase the cost of coal in an attempt to level the playing field for more expensive energy resources, i.e., renewables. They have been doing this primarily through excessive regulation of coal utilities and coal producers ~ in the process of attempting to bankrupt the coal industry, he’s contributing to the economic demise of our country".
The bulk of our electrical energy production is from coal and natural gas, with nuclear and hydro electric farther down the line. "Renewables" such as wind and solar, provide a tiny fraction of Americas energy needs in spite of billions thrown at them by the social engineers in Washington DC.
The free market has a way of determining winners and losers, in spite of government meddling. Let the energy industry compete to determine what the cheapest & cleanest source of energy will be. Due to private sector technological advances, we have abundance of natural gas. We also have an abundance of cheap coal reserves that can fulfill our energy needs for hundreds of years.
Innovations in the clean burning of gas, coal and oil have made remarkable advances in recent years, to the point that when you look at a modern coal fired power plant, it is hard to tell whether it is on or not. Let's use our ingenuity to find even cleaner and more efficient ways to use our energy natural resources. Lets encourage these industries instead of punish them. After all, if our energy prices "necessarily skyrocket" many of us might be forced to "live off the grid." and we all might end up "back to the future."
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