Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Search for financial gain is driving the push for green technology

Against the backdrop of the Gulf oil spill, President Obama delivered a speech in June, which once more made the case for the reduction of U.S. dependence on fossil fuels.

“I will continue to make the case for a clean energy future wherever and whenever I can,” the president said. The country’s use of fossil fuels, he continued, “will jeopardize our national security, it will smother our planet and will continue to put our economy and our environment at risk.”

While Obama isn’t the first president to take on fossil fuels (in his 2007 State of the Union address, former President George W. Bush talked about the need to generate electric power through “clean coal technology, solar and wind energy”), the current administration has taken a far more aggressive position on the subject than any previous White House. Last Thursday, for example, the administration released a plan requiring federal agencies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions over the next ten years.

But this war against fossil fuels is being waged not just by President Obama and the executive branch of the federal government. In many ways, the president is simply the front man for the social, political and business elite that are driving the campaign for renewable energy to replace things like coal and natural gas.

Although fossil fuels account for upwards of 80 percent of the nation’s energy consumption, lobbyists, executives, environmentalists and politicians have come together to force a reduction in their use, as well as pass mandates for things like solar wind panels and electric cars.

What many of them fail to disclose is their vested financial stake in this new technology — technology that remains fundamentally uncompetitive with traditional sources of energy. In the words of Dan Kish, senior vice president at the Institute for Energy Research: “At the end of the day, the stuff they want us to buy is just more expensive.”

So who are some of the individuals behind the war against fossil fuels?

John Doerr and Al Gore, for starters. As The Daily Caller has reported, both men are major players in the green industrial complex. Doerr, perhaps the most famous venture capitalist in the Silicon Valley, has donated heavily to Democratic causes, lobbied for green energy initiatives, and then received stimulus dollars through the Department of Energy (DOE) in the form of grants for companies in which he has investments.

Gore has spent the last ten years lobbying for carbon taxes, the use of green technology, and legislation that would require it — all while standing to profit financially if such policies were implemented because he is a partner at Doerr’s venture capitalist firm. Like Doerr, Gore will benefit financially if the start-up companies he invests in do well – which is almost a guarantee if the federal government continues to shower them with tax dollars.

Then there’s General Electric (GE) CEO Jeffery Immelt and Duke Power CEO Jim Rogers. Both were involved in the creation of the U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP), a lobbying organization comprised of businessmen that counts getting Waxman-Markey passed in the House last summer as one of its accomplishments.

Both GE and Duke make products that are essential in any transition from an energy industry based on fossil fuels, to one that uses renewable energy. It’s no wonder Immelt and Rogers are so invested in “energy independence.”

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