Saturday, February 19, 2011

Obama’s green power builds China’s red power

Obama's insistence on promoting and subsidizing more costly green energy at the expense of energy self-sufficiency here at home is putting us at the mercy of China, our biggest deficit supporter. We stand to lose an even larger percentage of our manufacturing jobs to our overseas competitor if we persist in thinking green energy is currently the answer to all our problems.

Let us open up our oil and gas fields, get new nuclear power plants on line, and even expand the current energy producing coal plants, thus creating jobs here at home and helping to solve our balance of payments deficit. Get those "libtards" out of Washington.

Environmentalist dogma threatens job growth and national security
Increasing the United States’ reliance on “clean” energy, as touted by President Obama yet again in this week’s budget proposal, would leave Americans just as dependent on unreliable foreign suppliers as we are now on the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries‘ stranglehold on oil. Instead of a handful of mostly Middle Eastern states, we would be dependent on a single nation for critical energy supplies - China. The threat to both national security and the U.S. economy is obvious to anyone who isn’t blinded by environmentalist dogma.

The president’s claim - that his program of subsidies, government grants and tax breaks for green-energy technologies will reduce our dependence on foreign oil and thus improve the United States’ national security - is wrong. Rather, the greater our embrace of green-energy technologies, the worse off the United States likely will become geopolitically.

Key components of every green-energy technology, wind turbines, solar cells, energy-efficient lighting, high-tech batteries and other goods, are made from a small class of minerals known as rare-earth elements and other rare minerals. Despite their name, these elements are rather abundant, but at the moment and for the near future, they are found in economically exploitable concentrations only in the People's Republic of China. With 96 percent of the global market, China has a de facto monopoly on the trade in these rare elements.

Sadly, this dependence on China is driven purely by politics, not consumer demand. Absent huge government subsidies, grants and mandates, green energy, being more expensive and less reliable than traditional energy production, would not be so much in demand, and thus China would not be in the catbird seat.

The push to adopt rare-earth-powered energy technologies involves swapping one form of dependence for a much more restrictive one. The old saying “out of the frying pan into the fire” comes to mind.

If the U.S. government stopped interfering in domestic energy production and ended all energy mandates and subsidies, China‘s dominance of rare earths would become a non-issue. Absent government support, green-energy technologies would largely fade from the scene until entrepreneurs figure out a way to make them cost-competitive and more reliable. Nor would environmentalists have reason for complaint because fossil fuels would no longer receive subsidies, either. This would be a win-win for both fiscal hawks and green doves.

Read full Washington Times article here.

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