Quote of the Day:
The green energy movement in America is dead. May it rest in peace. No, a majority of American energy over the next 20 years is not going to come from windmills and solar panels. One important lesson to be learned from the green energy fad’s rapid and expensive demise is that central planning doesn’t work.
Stephen Moore in the Washington Times
After the billions of taxpayer dollars spent on unsuccessful green energy projects, it appears that most of the money was wasted. Solyndra became almost a household name, but there were many other green energy failures for which American taxpayers footed the bill.
And now it appears that the green energy movement is in trouble not just because it wasted money but because of a great irony: shale and human inventiveness have created an energy boom. Stephen Moore writes:
What crushed green energy was the boom in shale oil and gas along with the steep decline in the price of fossil fuel that few saw coming just a few years ago.
Barack Obama told voters that green energy was necessary because oil is a “finite resource” and we would eventually run out. Apparently, Mr. Obama never read “The Ultimate Resource” by Julian Simon, which teaches us that human ingenuity in finding resources outpaces resource depletion.
When fracking and horizontal drilling technologies burst onto the scene, U.S. oil and gas reserves nearly doubled almost overnight. Oil production from 2007 to 2014 grew by more than 70 percent and natural gas production by nearly 30 percent.
We’ve always known that, if a project requires a lot of taxpayer money to get off the ground, it is likely to be a bust. It goes without saying that we are all in favor of privately-financed green projects, when investors put up money after considering the likelihood of a project’s success–we just hated to see federal bureaucrats, many of whom hail from theory land, given carte blanche to spend our money on their own pet green projects.
But it is interesting that, if Moore is right, what happened is that the old energy market, left to its own devices, found free-market ways to succeed. Human ingenuity thus once again triumphs over bureaucrats who have access to our national checkbook.