Monday, October 31, 2016
Washington Examiner ENDORSES Trump...Republicans
Many people have heard of Ken Bone, the red-sweater-wearing undecided voter who stole the show at the second, town hall-style presidential debate. But few remember the question he asked. It was about the candidates' energy policies, and the balance they must strike between protecting the environment and keeping energy prices low and millions of energy workers employed. It's a question worth revisiting in these closing days of the campaign.
The U.S. is now the world's largest producer of oil and natural gas, despite President Obama's costly energy regulations. Hillary Clinton is campaigning for the presidency not by celebrating the shale extraction that has made us less dependent on energy from parts of the world hostile to America. Rather, she focuses on renewable energy, claiming that it can supply a third of electricity needs.
Where Obama talked about an "all of the above" energy policy, Clinton focuses on "clean energy" with a $60 billion Clean Energy Challenge aimed at expanding the role of renewables, such as wind and solar power.
She has pledged to cut oil consumption by a third and generate enough from renewable sources to power every home in the country. During a rally on Friday, she promised to make America "the clean energy superpower of the 21st century."
Clinton wants to build billions of dollars worth of solar panels, which fits the Democrats' record of blowing taxpayer money on energy boondoggles. Taxpayers got nothing from the $100 billion of their money that Obama squandered on wind and solar subsidies.
Clinton has stepped back from her support of fracking and now demands that it be more regulated. She admitted to the audience at a CNN "town hall" meeting that it was "going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business."
Renewables are likely to become increasingly important, but fossil fuels will be central to a comprehensive energy policy for the foreseeable future. As Nicolette Nye of the National Ocean Industries Association recently wrote in a Washington Examiner op-ed, "by 2040 fossil fuels will still supply around 80 percent of energy needs globally."
Donald Trump has pledged to approve an expansion of the Keystone XL pipeline, lift moratoria on oil and gas production on federal lands and offshore drilling (87 percent of which Obama has put off limits) and revoke restrictions on new drilling technologies. Trump's plan would lift restrictions from shale drilling and other forms of energy. This would lift wages, revenues and economic activity generally.
The difference between the two main parties' energy policies is one of the best reasons voters should return Republican majorities in Congress on Nov. 8. The makeup of Congress after this election might decide whether America takes advantage or wastes its vast natural resources.