The Jan. 9 commentary “In 2014 do what you can to pull plug on fossil fuels,” by Andrew Korfhage of Green America is very bad advice based on an equally flawed premise, founded on a misanthropic philosophy.
The abandonment of nuclear power in Germany and the huge subsidies to so called “green” renewable power in Europe, (~$57 billion spent by the European Union on renewable energy subsidies in 2012, according to the International Energy Agency has resulted in the resurgence of coal power across Europe. Renewables can never fill the gap. “From Germany to Poland and the Czech Republic, utilities are expanding open-pit mines that produce lignite,” (the least efficient, most polluting form of coal) Bloomberg recently reported.
The result of very misguided European “global warming” policies: German carbon emissions are rising, energy costs are soaring, electricity consumers are revolting and industrial users are making decisions to move production to less expensive locations — including the United States.
Coal is abundant and a relatively inexpensive intensive energy source, but not as clean of real pollutants (i.e. sulfur, ash, etc.) or as efficient as natural gas. But even coal needs to be a major part of the energy mix for the U.S. and the world.
The U.S., due in large part to expansion of natural gas production in recent years (i.e. “fracking,” essentially all being done on private lands), has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions despite having wisely not signed the Kyoto Accords when George Bush (41) was President. Technology is the difference.
International Energy Agency Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven highlighted the significance of this energy market transition in the release of the agency’s World Energy Outlook in Nov. 2013. Ms. van der Hoeven stated the increased share of global exports of energy-intensive goods by the U.S. was the “clearest indication of the link between relatively low energy prices and the industrial outlook”.
Translation: Lower energy prices mean a more competitive business environment, which means good paying jobs. Rhode Island General Assembly? Senator Whitehouse? Are you paying attention?
The so called “greens” are against coal, oil, gas and nuclear sources of power. It is only through abundant power that the developed world has its high standard of living, a standard the developing world of India, China and elsewhere rightly wants to emulate for their populations. Those governments know raising standards of living will rely on fossil fuels, and are having no part of banning these vital sources of energy.
In their misguided worship of “The Earth” greens like Mr. Korfhage show their utter disdain for humanity. Those seeking to raise energy prices in the U.S. — anyone remember candidate Obama in 2008 ( “Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket”) — are deliberately trying to cripple the economy and impoverish you. Don’t get fooled again.