During Obama’s last State of the Union address on January 12, he described “conventional power”–oil, coal, etc.–as “dirty energy” that must be replaced by wind and sun power.
In fields from Iowa to Texas, wind power is now cheaper than dirtier, conventional power. On rooftops from Arizona to New York, solar is saving Americans tens of millions of dollars a year on their energy bills, and employs more Americans than coal — in jobs that pay better than average.
Of course, Obama did not mention that one reason solar hiring is up while coal hiring is down is because Obama’s EPA regulations have crippled and closed coal plants around the country. If coal plants are not open, they cannot hire. And if they cannot hire, then it only makes sense that another type of energy hires more people.
On April 16, 2015, Politico reported that Kentucky’s “Louisville Gas & Electric [was] shutting down the plant’s three coal-fired boilers [in June], replacing them with natural gas.” Politico added, “It’s a scene playing out around the country, as dozens of coal-burning plants prepare to close amid a barrage from cheap natural gas, green opposition and President Barack Obama’s environmental regulations.”
Unaffected by the closures his own policies have caused, Obama simply spoke of pushing forward–and away from oil and coal. He said, “Now we’ve got to accelerate the transition away from dirty energy. Rather than subsidize the past, we should invest in the future — especially in communities that rely on fossil fuels.”
He said, “None of this will happen overnight, and yes, there are plenty of entrenched interests who want to protect the status quo. But the jobs we’ll create, the money we’ll save, and the planet we’ll preserve — that’s the kind of future our kids and grandkids deserve.”
Obama did not mention that petroleum products are necessary to build the wind turbines that now blight the the once open skies of the plains. He did not put a number on how many tractor-trailers are needed simply to transport the parts to construct one turbine, nor did he talk about how the very plastics and numerous other products in the turbines require petroleum for manufacturing.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.