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  • The Democrats’ War on Energy–Updated

    Posted by David Foster on November 2nd, 2008 (All posts by )

    Barack Obama, speaking with the San Francisco Chronicle, January 2008:

    So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it’s just that it will bankrupt them because they’re going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.

    and

    So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can.

    It’s just that it will bankrupt them.

    Left unsaid:

    1)Would he also bankrupt those who already operate coal-fired plants, which produce about 40% of the nation’s electricity? Presumably, yes, although he might give them a few years’ grace period.

    2)Would he also charge carbon taxes on coal *exports*? For one who believes that CO2-based global warming is among the most critical world issues, it would be irrational to suppress the use of coal at home while still permitting its transfer abroad. Expect the carbon fees to eventually be applied at the mine mouth, not just the point of use.

    3)What about the integrated steel companies, which use coke (made from coal) in their blast furnaces? Does he want to bankrupt them, too?

    Note also that Obama and other key Democrats are not going to support nuclear energy in any realistic way, even though it is irrational–indeed almost insane–to identify CO2 as a dominant concern and also to continue to suppress nuclear power.

    Obama’s energy plan, if implemented, would greatly increase the cost of electricity for households and industries. Don’t kid yourself that solar and wind would fill the gap in any near-term time frame. There are no practical means to store electricity, and sun and wind do not always make themselves available when the power is needed. Increased energy costs for manufacturers would result in many plant closings and job losses; increased energy costs for consumers would reduce discretionary incomes and squeeze the entire economy.

    The plan would of course directly harm the coal industry; it would also harm other industries, particularly railroads, which get a lot of their revenue from moving coal. If the carbon charges were extended to the mine mouth, thereby cutting off the coal export market, the impact on the railroads would be devastating, probably resulting in bankruptcies in that industry too…not to mention the effect on the balance of trade.

    Obama likes to talk about the middle class. The existence of a broadly-affluent middle class is dependent on broadly-available and reasonably-priced energy, and the Democratic plans are a serious threat to that.

    Update: Note well–in the same talk with the S.F. Chronicle, Obama explicitly stated that, under his plan, “electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.” Link here.

     

    5 Responses to “The Democrats’ War on Energy–Updated”

    1. Mike Drew Says:

      Is this part of his job creation strategy? I love how the Elitist Illuminati party is planning the destruction of the middle class, while promising to give them a tax break. Killing jobs through taxes so that they become dependent on the govenment. Brilliant!

    2. Jonathan Says:

      Audio of Obama discussing this topic:

      Here

      and

      here.

      The linked presentations include editorial commentary which you may ignore if you wish. The main point is to listen to Obama and judge for yourself.

      Thanks to the reader who forwarded these links.

    3. Jeffersonian Says:

      Ah…he’ll pick my pocket today, but think of that delicious omelet we get down the road. Just like in North Korea.

    4. Andrew Garland Says:

      A central theme of the Democrats is that “It is all so easy”. They imply that Republican obstruction is stopping a glorious future. If only we would develop the correct resources we would all be busy in our jobs, happy and secure.

      When this is applied to energy, the thought is that we don’t have to be money-grubbing. Just a bit higher price, and some encouragement to the technologists, is surely all that is needed to have plentiful energy. Twist this wire and push that button. How hard could it be? It is so easy to imagine. We sent people to the Moon, so why not energy for all? Without carbon, please. It just takes the political will.

      Of course this is disasterous, wishful thinking.

      See Magic Power

    5. Robert Schwartz Says:

      But that is not what he told the Illinois Coal Producers. ;-)