The Democrats recently revealed that their 2016 convention platform will include a plan to get the United States completely off of fossil fuels by 2050. This is a patently foolish and dishonest claim aimed at pleasing the green warriors of their liberal base in an election year with no mooring in reality. In an almost equally bizarre turn, the White House will announce this week that the United States and it’s NAFTA trading partners, Canada and Mexico, will move even more rapidly and achieve 50% “clean energy” by 2025. (Washington Post)
The leaders of the United States, Canada and Mexico will pledge on Wednesday that by 2025 half of their overall electricity generation will come from clean power sources, according to administration officials.
The commitment — which will be a joint one, rather than an individual commitment by each nation — represents an aggressive target given the reliance by the United States and Mexico on fossil fuels for much of their electricity supply…
President Obama will travel to Ottawa on Wednesday to meet with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto as part of this year’s North American Leaders Summit. The upcoming pledge highlights how collaboration on climate between the United States and Canada has accelerated since Trudeau, leader of his country’s Liberal Party, was elected last fall.
White House senior adviser Brian Deese described it as “an aggressive goal” but one that “is achievable continent-wide.”
This is a great headline for the Democrats in an election year, but even the amount of smoke and mirrors in the description leaves it unlikely in the extreme. First of all, the phrase “clean energy” as used in this context has been redefined in a way that most of the “Leave it in the Ground” folks won’t be happy with. They generally want to see solar and wind energy providing for all of our needs. This plan includes hydro (which is certainly clean enough, but we’re running most of the damns we can at the moment) and nuclear. The latter will give plenty of the eco-warriors fits. But it doesn’t stop there. Any fossil fuel sources can also qualify as “clean energy” if they utilize carbon capture technology. And beyond that, energy suppliers also qualify if they engage in the vague and gauzy term, “energy efficiency.”
Canada can sign off on such a promise with no problems at all. Their energy grid is minuscule next to ours and they already derive 59 percent of their electricity from hydro-electric plants and more than 15% from nuclear facilities. Canada drills for a ton of fossil fuels, but they get to export almost all of it because they’re already self-sufficient from those sources. Mexico, on the other hand, is promising a pipe dream. They burn coal and they do it by the metric buttload, with nearly 80% of their energy coming from fossil fuels. Their economy isn’t exactly fat with cash and I don’t see them investing in all this new technology on a vast, national scale in just eight years.
Here at home, these new definitions cook the books for the White House and make us seem closer than we already are. The technology doesn’t yet exist to profitably increase our wind and solar energy output by anywhere near the amounts needed to hit 50% (it’s currently barely 10%) and we aren’t going to be bringing a bunch of new nuclear plants or hydro-electric dams online any time soon. But it does provide an excuse to try to force coal plants to spend a ton of money on carbon capture (heavily invested in by people like Al Gore and George Soros) which was probably the idea all along.
This is a dog and pony show to keep the environmentalists happy and nothing more. Look behind the numbers and you’ll this for what it is.