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Coal has place in energy future

February 2, 2012
Salem News

President Barack Obama talked a lot about "renewable" energy during his State of the Union speech Tuesday night. But he made it crystal clear he plans to renew his administration's war against coal while forcing expensive, unrealistic non-alternatives down the throats of Americans.

During his entire speech, the president never used the word "coal." Yet he criticized Congress for rejecting his "climate change" proposals - at the same time failing, on purpose, to mention he has instructed the Environmental Protection Agency to ruin the coal industry with or without lawmakers' approval.

Obama also chastised senators and representatives for failing "to set a clean energy standard that creates a market for innovation." That, of course, is code for more massive government subsidies for the solar and wind power industries - like the half-billion dollars in taxpayer money wasted on the failed Solyndra company.

"So far you haven't acted," the president told Congress. "Well, tonight, I will. I'm directing my administration to allow the development of clean energy on enough public land to power 3 million homes. And I'm proud to announce that the Department of Defense ... will make one of the largest commitments to clean energy in history, with the Navy purchasing enough capacity to power a quarter of a million homes a year."

Good heavens. Solar and wind power have failed miserably in free markets. So now, using taxpayers' money, Obama plans not just to subsidize massive new solar and wind farms, but also to buy the electricity from them. How many more billions of dollars will he waste, unless Congress stops him?

Among the most distasteful energy references in the president's speech, at least to knowledgable area residents, was that regarding the natural gas drilling boom. He gave the federal government credit for it, by maintaining "it was public research dollars, over the course of 30 years, that helped develop the technologies to extract all this natural gas out of shale rock ..."

Enormous investments in research, exploration and development by the energy industry - responsible, in reality, for the shale gas boom - were not mentioned by the president. Neither were the gigantic risks energy companies took and continue to take in shale drilling. Indeed Congress needs to act on energy issues - by enacting a realistic policy that includes coal, and preventing Obama from killing that industry as he wastes billions of tax and electric customer dollars.

 
 

 

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