All-of-the-above policy is vital
For eight years, those of us in West Virginia, Ohio and a few other states tried in vain to make our fellow Americans understand that former President Barack Obama’s war on coal ought to be their concern as well as ours. It took the spotlight focused on Coal Country by then-candidate Donald Trump to make millions of Americans really think about where their electricity comes from.
Now President Trump is engineering a a 180-degree turn away from what might well have been an energy disaster in this country.
An Energy Department report suggests the government needs to do more to encourage construction and operation of all types of power plants — coal, nuclear and hydroelectric among them. Such action is needed to ensure the nation’s energy grid remains reliable.
In other words, we may be turning to the true “all of the above” energy policy the nation needs.
During the Obama years, virtually every agency of government seemed intent on shutting down coal-fired power plants and making it impossible to operate nuclear power stations. Instead, the priority — along with billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies — was so-called “alternative energy” in the form of solar and wind power.
Increased dependence on those types of generation makes the power grid less reliable and more expensive.
It all was done in the name of preventing global warming. Yet, as scientists have pointed out, the net effect of drastic changes in how this country generates electricity will have virtually no power to forestall more climate change.
Climate alarmists already have begun whipping up a frenzy of opposition to any suggestion the Obama policy ought to be altered in any way. What happens to tens of millions of Americans — including the poor and those on fixed incomes such as the elderly — if they are successful?
Simply this: Electricity will become more and more expensive, putting an added squeeze on already strained budgets. Eventually, as fewer sources of 24/7 power are available, it may be a question as to whether the furnace will kick on in the dead of winter or the air conditioning will work when summer temperatures soar.
And, of course, there is the effect on businesses and industries. Those using a lot of electricity and struggling to compete now may find themselves forced to shut down.
All of this is avoidable, if policymakers heed the Energy Department report. An all-of-the-above energy policy, with due consideration for environmental concerns, is vital. It comes down to the simple common sense that, for eight years, was absent from Washington.