The left’s grand, green vi­sion

How Hil­lary and Bernie will de­stroy 10 mil­lion jobs

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - By Stephen Moore

Like a crazed se­rial killer, the lib­eral green groups are cel­e­brat­ing their “vic­tory” of putting Amer­ica’s ma­jor coal pro­duc­ers out of busi­ness — to say noth­ing of the tens of thou­sands of min­ers placed in un­em­ploy­ment lines. Sev­eral thou­sand more min­ing jobs were lost last month.

Now to get their next homi­ci­dal high, the left­ists have turned their am­bi­tions on the oil and nat­u­ral gas in­dus­tries.

Here is how the Sierra Club spokes­woman, Lena Mof­fit, ex­plains the grand, green vi­sion:

“We have moved to a very clear and firm and ve­he­ment position of op­pos­ing gas. We op­pose any new gas-fired power plants. We also have a pol­icy op­pos­ing frack­ing.”

That’s an amaz­ing ad­mis­sion given that nat­u­ral gas is a clean burn­ing fuel that is re­duc­ing green­house gas emis­sions and real pol­lu­tants too. Then she ad­mit­ted: “We are do­ing ev­ery­thing we can to bring the same ex­per­tise that we brought to tak­ing down the coal in­dus­try and coal-fired power in this coun­try to tak­ing on gas in the same way... to en­sure that we’re mov­ing to a 100% clean en­ergy fu­ture.”

Wow, this is the agenda of lu­natics. Scarier still is that the three most prom­i­nent Democrats in Amer­ica aren’t far be­hind in this ma­ni­a­cal mind­set of killing do­mes­tic in­dus­tries. Pres­i­dent Obama says we have to shift to a “keep it in the ground” strat­egy when it comes to all fos­sil fu­els. Bernie San­ders is the spon­sor of a Sen­ate bill that would ef­fec­tively ban all oil and gas drilling on fed­eral lands.

Hil­lary Clin­ton has an­nounced that global warm­ing is “the defin­ing is­sue of our time” and hopes for a fu­ture when there is no drilling for oil and gas. This would end Amer­ica’s ac­cess to an es­ti­mated $50 tril­lion of en­ergy re­sources.

What if, God for­bid, these politi­cians and en­vi­ron­men­tal groups ac­tu­ally pre­vail in shut­ting down Amer­i­can oil and gas de­vel­op­ment as they have done with coal? What would it mean to the U.S. econ­omy?

Let’s start with jobs. There are still about 250,000 Amer­i­cans di­rectly or in­di­rectly re­lated to the coal in­dus­try. They’re gone for sure un­der a Demo­cratic ad­min­is­tra­tion in 2017 — with min­ers re­as­signed to new po­si­tions un­der com­rade Clin­ton’s en­ergy strat­egy.

But that’s a pit­tance com­pared to em­ploy­ment and out­put in the oil and gas in­dus­try. Back in 2012 Price Water­house com­pleted a study (for the Amer­i­can Pe­tro­leum In­sti­tute) on the eco­nomic im­pact of Amer­i­can en­ergy. It found that di­rect and in­di­rect jobs re­lated to oil and gas stood at just un­der 10 mil­lion. These are truck­ers, con­struc­tion work­ers, pe­tro­leum engi­neers, welders, pip­efit­ters, ge­ol­o­gists, and many other hard hat work­ers. Many if not most are union mem­bers.

PWC also cal­cu­lated that the value added to the U.S. econ­omy from oil, gas and coal was about $1.2 tril­lion a year — or about 8 per­cent of GDP. In other words, not pro­duc­ing fos­sil fu­els means our eco­nomic growth would be in­stantly low­ered by about 8 per­cent which would make the last Great Re­ces­sion seem like a pic­nic. In­ci­den­tally, the oil and gas in­dus­try also pays tens of bil­lions of dol­lars in tax rev­enues ev­ery year — so that flow would stop too.

If you are con­cerned about Amer­ica los­ing high­pay­ing man­u­fac­tur­ing jobs, the left’s anti-fos­sil fu­els cam­paign would help fin­ish off many of these mid­dle class jobs and not just in oil and gas pro­duc­tion. How are we go­ing to pro­duce steel, cars, air planes, chem­i­cals, fac­to­ries, and high tech­nol­ogy prod­ucts with­out re­li­able and low cost power?

Of course the make-be­lieve an­swer is that we will tran­si­tion to wind­mills and so­lar pan­els. In other words, we will shift back to the en­ergy sources of the Mid­dle Ages. Wind­mills will power our steel plants. So­lar en­ergy will elec­trify our fac­to­ries and homes — ex­cept when the sun doesn’t shine. Ger­many thought they could “go green” and that strat­egy has raised en­ergy prices and put the hurt to its man­u­fac­tur­ing in­dus­tries.

The lost en­ergy em­ploy­ment will never be re­placed with so-called “green jobs.” We al­ready fell for that scam at the start of the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Even af­ter more than $150 bil­lion in gov­ern­ment sub­si­dies over the past decade, wind and so­lar power are so ex­pen­sive and un­work­able that they ac­count for less than 4 per­cent of our en­ergy sup­ply. So some­how we are go­ing to move from 4 per­cent to 100 per­cent green en­ergy. In other words, we will shut­down over 90 per­cent of our cur­rent en­ergy pro­duc­tion.

Most amaz­ing of all is that the peo­ple who be­lieve this fairly tale are the same peo­ple who say that Don­ald Trump is crazy. Stephen Moore is an eco­nomic con­sul­tant with Free­dom Works and coau­thor of “Fu­el­ing Free­dom: Ex­pos­ing the Mad War on En­ergy” (Reg­n­ery, 2016).

If you are con­cerned about Amer­ica los­ing high-pay­ing man­u­fac­tur­ing jobs, the left’s an­tifos­sil fu­els cam­paign would help fin­ish off many of these mid­dle class jobs and not just in oil and gas pro­duc­tion. How are we go­ing to pro­duce steel, cars, air planes, chem­i­cals, fac­to­ries, and high tech­nol­ogy prod­ucts with­out re­li­able and low cost power?

IL­LUS­TRA­TION BY ALEXAN­DER HUNTER/THE WASH­ING­TON TIMES

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