Obama’s quixotic pursuit of ‘green’ energy

March 20, 2013

Obama’s quixotic pursuit of ‘green’ energy


Our nation’s credit has been downgraded, we’ve gone over the fiscal cliff, the sequester cuts are taking place, the government could potentially soon shut down, the debt ceiling issue surfaces again in May, yet  President Obama continues to be on the campaign trail in his second administration promoting “green” energy.

So it was on Friday, March 15, that President Obama flew to Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont, IL — one of the Energy Department’s largest national laboratories for scientific and engineering research with a tradition of research into vehicle technologies — in a push to urge Congress to authorize a $2 billion trust over ten years to fund research on “breakthrough” technologies (such as batteries for electric cars and biofuels made from switch grass or other materials) in his bid to wean vehicles off oil and other biocarbons.  It’s rather ironic that Obama flew as he did in a 747 to Argonne to tout his fuel saving plan to wean vehicles off oil.

According to President Obama the $2 billion trust would not add to the nation’s deficit.  It would be paid for with revenues from federal oil and gas leases on offshore drilling.  This is somewhat risky because the plan is counting on increased production from existing sites.  Any expansion of drilling to federal lands or water is prohibited.

What has President Obama’s record been so far in promoting green energy?  The Heritage Foundation has identified 19 bankrupt green energy companies that were unable to make it even with the $2.6 billion in financial assistance and incentives the government promised.  Under the heading, “Green Graveyard: 19 Taxpayer-Funded Failures,” number one on the Heritage list was Abound Solar, a bad bet at $790.3 million, while the much publicized Solyndra claimed the number two spot with a bad debt of of $570 million.

Each of the nineteen now-bankrupt companies were part of Obama’s attempt to stimulate the economy by developing and expanding the “green” energy industry.

Each of the nineteen companies could have been purchased by another company and brought back to life during bankruptcy  proceeding  Now all that remains of the nineteen are tombstones to mark their passing.

Should the federal government be risking taxpayer dollars to bet on private sector companies in the first place (picking winners an losers)?   Despite generous infusions of taxpayer monies, attempts by Obama to expand the green energy industry failed.  If there were an aura of profitability, wouldn’t private industry see fit to invest?

Going green appeared both smart and virtuous during Obama’s first administration.  It was also during Obama’s first term when the U.S. shale oil and gas revolution was unfolding.  With it came a real game changer, but not one that reached into the Obama administration.  There was zero Washington backing and zero U.S. Government appreciation of the enormous consequences of the fracking process.  Department of Energy head, Steven Chu, continued his mandate to push forward the development and the adoption of the best renewable energy solutions by providing credits and grants to renewables.

As Paolo von Schirach related in a Global Society Monitor report, “Electric Cars Do Not Sell — Just Like Renewable Energy . . . “:  It is  “unwise for public policy to try and time the level and pace of innovation deployments.”

Schirach also had these choice words for departing Secretary Chu to reflect upon: “Forced adoption off renewables via subsidies and mandates to utilities often result in sub optimal choices and waste of money.”

Irregardless of the shale revolution and what it portends, an irrational perception based on a political agenda remains in tact with Obama and company. They  are not about to waver from a political agenda that calls for urgent action in controlling atmospheric green house gases under the guise that man-made Global Warming is happening and must be stopped to save Mother Earth, thus the Argonne jaunt.

Based on reports by the Congressional Research Service and the Government Accountability Of…, TWTW estimated that the total funding of global warming from1993 to FY 2012 amounted to about $150 billion.  $72 billion was spent to combat climate change since 2008 (based on a May 22, 2012 report).

This is all the more embarrassing and wasteful of billions of dollars, because, despite worldwide emissions of carbon dioxide being higher, there hasn’t been any global warming for a decade. Maybe this is why talk of Global Warming has reverted to talk about Climate Change!

For all practical purposes, there is very little to show for the $150 billion dollars money spent in the unreasonable Don Quiote-like pursuit of Global Warming.  Scientific papers exist that do not withstand analysis; computer models predicting the future are now meaningless because the models on which they were based had not  been validated; subsidies given to second-rate methods of generating electricity didn’t prevent them from going bankrupt; and a growing bureaucracy in the Obama administration is intent on crippling energy which is a viable and a critical component of this nation’s economy.


Published initially at Illinois Review, March 20, 2013.


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