When President Obama was swept into office in 2008, he made lots of grand promises of a “green energy” future for America, led by renewable energy. This revolution which would create millions of jobs and lead to a reduction in carbon emissions. As a recent editorial by Charles Drevna highlights, these promises turned out to be half true. Millions of jobs have indeed been created in the energy sector and there has been a reduction in emissions. However, the jobs have been concentrated in the oil and natural gas industry, and the so-called shale revolution has led to an increased availability and usage of clean, domestic natural gas.
Furthermore, experience throughout the world has shown us the folly of government subsidized “renewable” energy. As Mr. Drevna notes:
“Germany passed a 20-year green energy initiative, an effort led by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, that required energy companies to purchase and supply renewable energy at much higher rates. […] It is nearly impossible to generate enough energy from renewable sources like wind, especially during high energy demand seasons, without covering all of Germany with wind turbines and without the country incurring costs to the tune of one trillion Euros over the next 15 years. Even with massive government subsidization, renewable energy cannot compensate for the reduction in tradition energy.”
Similar efforts championed by the Obama administration have led to disastrous results as well. Solyndra, LG Chem, and numerous others have caused taxpayers an enormous amount of money, with little to show for it other than empty promises. Given these experiences, and the fact that the oil and natural gas industry is projected to create nearly 3.5 million jobs in the next two decades, the President would be wise to abandon picking winners and losers in the marketplace and instead embrace the Keystone XL pipeline and open federal land to be tapped for our abundant energy reserves.