The recent Democratic convention was a hotbed of anti-fossil fuel vitriol. The policy platform, invited speakers, and nominee herself all supported a war against oil and natural gas.
Gone are the days when Democrats supported nuclear and natural gas. Gone are the days when they championed the fossil fuel industry because it supports millions of high-paying, blue-collar jobs. Gone are the days when Democrats seriously pursued an energy-independent United States.
Today, they’re pursuing a radical overhaul of the American energy market. If they get their way, the economic consequences would be devastating.
The committee that cooked up the convention’s official policy platform explicitly rebuked President Obama, who once promised an all-inclusive energy strategy. Instead, they want to move “beyond the ‘all of the above’ energy approach.”
They just want one of the above – renewables, chiefly solar, wind and biomass. The committee adopted a proposal envisioning an “America run entirely on clean energy by mid-century.”
This is an overly ambitious goal. After eight years of the most pro-clean energy president in American history, one that handed out billions of taxpayer dollars to green tech companies, the slice of the electricity market powered by renewables increased from a puny 4 percent to an only-slightly-less-puny 7 percent.
That’s a lot of time and money for very little progress.
Democrats want more than clean fuels on the energy market. They want to shut down the fossil fuel industry. Their presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton explicitly promised a CNN Town Hall that she’s “going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.”
But she doesn’t want to stop with coal. Clinton wants to impose crushing new regulations on fracking, the innovative drilling technique that’s opened up huge new underground energy reserves. In a March debate, she promised, if elected, “I do not think there will be many places in America where fracking will continue to take place.”
We’ve been warned.
A regulatory crackdown on fracking would spell the end of the domestic energy industry. Most of the easy-to-access energy pockets are depleted.
Democrats want to back up their fossil fuel crusade with the full force of the state. Many have been encouraging the Justice Department to investigate companies and others who have allegedly misled the public about climate change. “Alleged” is a very low bar, since anybody can accuse anyone of anything. In practice, any executive, scientist or policy expert who challenges the far left’s climate change dogma could face fines or jail time.
But renewables come nowhere near to meeting our country’s energy needs. Americans will still need fossil fuels for cars, planes, and to power their homes and offices for decades to come. It’s ironic that most convention attendees arrived by plane, took cars to hotels and enjoyed an air-conditioned convention center, all thanks to the fossil fuels they spent days denouncing.
If Democrats are successful in their attempt to crush domestic oil and gas, Americans won’t switch to renewables, they’ll just be forced to buy traditional energy from abroad, including from Russia, Venezuela and Iran, financially fueling those countries’ political mischief.
So let’s call the Democratic plan what it is: A full-employment act for despots and terrorists.
The Democratic vision of liberating the country from fossil fuels was on full display at this month’s nominating convention. Their vision is pure fantasy, completely detached from the realities of the modern energy market and society’s needs.
Merrill Matthews is a resident scholar with the Institute for Policy Innovation in Dallas, Texas. Follow at twitter.com/MerrillMatthews.