Where is the Energy Policy of Freedom?

Speaking on her energy policy, Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton recently said, “We’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.”

This statement has come under much fire and has been at the center of controversy in coal-rich states, such as West Virginia and Kentucky.

Although there certainly may be legitimate risks to the use of coal, it has proven to be one of the most efficient and production methods of energy production in America for generation. To simply state that she is looking to ultimately shut down an entire segment of the American energy industry would be an understatement. Her attitude where politicians decide rather than allowing the consumer to have the freedom and liberty to decide for his or herself certainly demonstrates an attitude which will most certainly prove to be detrimental in regards to energy costs and the sustainability of domestically produced energy.

Despite the rhetoric used by Mrs. Clinton, this attack on the most prevalent and efficient methods of energy is nothing new. President Obama has pushed his own agenda to promote clean, alternative energies throughout his tenure in the White House. A central component of his policy which was implemented via Executive Order in 2015, is a target of doubling American solar power production by 2030.


“Of all energy produced in the United States year in and year out, only approximately 0.6% can be attributed to solar energy.”


Although these attempts at what is viewed as energy sustainability is certainly a noble goal, it is destined to ultimately fall short in actually making a difference in the makeup of American energy production. Of all energy produced in the United States year in and year out, only approximately 0.6% can be attributed to solar energy. Therefore, despite how this has been made to be a radical praiseworthy change, doubling solar power production really will not have much of an impact on the environment and Carbon Dioxide production at all.

Many Democrats are willing to greatly sacrifice economic sustainability in order to advance production of energy which is perceived to be less harmful to the environment. Likewise, many Republicans are oftentimes willing to sacrifice scientific advancement and competition in order to help out the major coal and natural gas companies.

Rather, the energy policy that should be pursued, in order to better the lives of every American, would be one where the market gets to decide and people get to make the decision on their own of which types of energy work best for them. As Former Congressman Ron Paul recently stated in regards to Hillary Clinton’s comments, “What they shouldn’t argue isn’t a pro-coal industry, or pro natural gas, we need pro-freedom.” This sentiment is precisely what American energy policy desperately needs in order to decrease prices for the consumer and increase efficiency.

One would imagine that with the Obama/Clinton war on coal going on, they would be looking to other viable, cleaner methods of energy to replace coal production. Clearly, solar and wind power would be their ideal as they produce zero Carbon emissions, yet one would think that they would not only be open to production of cleaner fossil fuels but that they would be embracing these other cleaner, more efficient alternatives. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, natural gas has led to a

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, natural gas has led to a 23% decrease in CO2 production, as natural gas burns over 50% less Carbon Dioxide than coal. Regardless of the statistics, their war on coal and natural gas continues as anything except for the unsustainable ideal is not allowed.


“These policies are destructive to working class Americans who will see rising costs in basic utilities…”


Despite the numerous benefits of natural gas, their wars against legitimate energy options continue. Unfortunately, Hillary Clinton’s comments about the coal industry should not only be heard by the nearly 100,000 individuals employed by the coal industry in the United States. These comments must be heard and recognized by the nearly one million individuals currently employed in the natural gas industry in the United States, a number which makes up about one-half of one percent of all Americans in the workforce. Besides those currently laboring in these industries, it is also important to note that these policies are destructive to working class Americans who will see rising costs in basic utilities coinciding with the loss of yet another way to practice their freedoms and exercise their liberties.

However, these destructive energy plans hurt many more Americans than just those who are employed within the industry. Florida Senator Marco Rubio said in regards to the President’s Executive Order, “ It will make the cost of electricity higher for millions of Americans. If there’s some billionaire somewhere who is a pro-environmental, cap-and-trade person, yeah, they can probably afford for their electric bill to go up a couple of hundred dollars. But if you’re a single mom in Tampa, Florida, and your electric bill goes up by $30 a month, that is catastrophic.”

Fracking

These comments by Senator Rubio precisely demonstrate the fundamental dangers of these energy policies where out of touch Washington politicians assert their worldview and agenda without caring for the greater economic good and well-being of millions of Americans. Minor cost increases may not seem like anything at all to an inside-the-beltway bureaucrat, however, these costs absolutely are detrimental to working class families who are on a strict budget and have to work multiple jobs just to get by. These energy policies simply overlook these average Americans and fail to give them a voice.

An energy policy focused around the government subsidizing alternative energy would definitively act as a huge hindrance on the American economy. Likewise, an energy policy focused around subsidizing multibillion-dollar energy companies in the name of supporting any specific type of energy source would also prove to have horrific ramifications on the American economy and energy production.

Where is the common sense energy policy, such as the one Ron Paul laid out? Why is it too much to ask for the American people to act in free exchange and decide for themselves what energy works best for them?

Governmental policy most certainly will not cure the issues cited by many created by climate change. Regardless of the impact people have on the climate, the solution is not going to come from Washington. The solution will only come from the American people possessing and exercising their freedom by trying different methods and deciding for themselves what is best.

Isn’t that how this country is supposed to be?

About Jake Leahy

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Jake Leahy, the National Outreach Director of American Youth in Politics, is a frequent contributor on the IRS Radio Hour on 560 the Answer in Chicago. He is an Ambassador for Turning Point USA and a student at Deerfield High School. You can follow him on Twitter @jakealeahy.