Future of “Green Energy” Likely to Be Determined Largely by 2016 ElectionAlan Carlin | March 25, 2016
As discussed in my book, Environmentalism Gone Mad, “green energy” (basically wind and solar) and its supposed major selling point (“controlling” climate change) has never made much economic or scientific sense. In the last few years it has made even less given the rapid fall of oil, coal, and natural gas prices, which have made “green energy” even less economically competitive with fossil fuels than it already was.
There is simply no current prospect that green energy will become competitive in the marketplace in any widespread way to meet US energy needs in future decades or probably even centuries. So the only way that “green energy” can expand substantially is as a result of government-imposed regulations, laws, or incentives. Whether such government intervention will expand or contract has become one of the issues likely to be decided by the 2016 Presidential election.
If Cruz or Trump should be elected there is little likelihood that “green energy” will make further progress for the next four years and may even lose some of its recent gains. Cruz has said that he will withdraw the EPA climate power plant regulations and presumably Trump would as well given his views on climate and EPA. Both would presumably appoint a very conservative Supreme Court justice, which would presumably doom the EPA climate regulations even if they should not be withdrawn.
If Clinton or Sanders Wins “Green Energy” Is Very Likely to Expand Greatly
If Clinton or Sanders should be elected, on the other hand, “green energy” is very likely to make major advances since there will be nothing but financing and possible Republican control of Congress to stop them or even slow them down. The Congressional Republicans have not shown much ability to stop or even influence Obama’s climate policies, and would presumably be even more ineffective under a Clinton or Sanders Presidency even if the party makeup of Congress remains the same.
Either Clinton or Sanders would almost certainly appoint a very liberal Supreme Court justice to the empty seat who would then probably provide a fifth vote to approve the EPA regulations. There would then be nothing to stop Clinton or Sanders from imposing any further climate regulations they might wish in future years, and they would probably do so given their stated antagonism to the use of fossil fuels. In this case, “green energy” would presumably make rapid “progress” despite its huge costs, the lack of any measurable benefits, and the resulting decreases in electric reliability.
Thus the climate debate appears likely to be settled one way or the other for the next four years by the fall election. The outcome now appears to depend not on the substantive arguments long advanced by both sides on the subject but rather the relative popularity of the Democratic and Republican Presidential nominees and their proposed policies as a whole. Unlike previous elections, climate has received significant discussion during the primary campaign and is another issue that voters may want to carefully consider when they vote next November.