The Left Sours on Biofuels

By September 10, 2006Energy

For any of you who have followed the energy debate this year, you know we continue to pound away on the fact that we are the only country — the only country — that limits access to its own natural resources. We have been bullish on tapping those resource: oil, natural gas, coal. The enviros, for their part, have responded by pushing conservation, efficiency and alternative fuels.

We’ve said here often for the record that we are not only in favor of all three of those, we are inventing it, making it. But while we wait for development of alternative fuels, we need to be about the business of tapping the energy we already have, to help manufacturers compete and to help drive down prices for the average citizen (anybody remember the average citizen….?)

In an interview we did on Michigan Public Radio about our Labor Day Report, indeed they pressed us on alternative fuels. “Yes,” we said, “Yes!,” again, “A thousand times yes!”

Now comes the WaPo, giving spaceagain — to another lefty think tank and frequent Democrat contributor (click here to check it out for yourself), to say now that the development of alternative fuels will come out of the mouths of the poor.

This is just flat ridiculous, if not a little exasperating. We’ve used before the quote from House Energy Committee Chair Joe Barton who once famously said that the enviros want us to generate our energy by rubbing two sticks together — and then they’d complain about the smoke that it caused. As you can see, when it comes to biofuels, that the enviros have touted forever — a point on which we agree, by the way — Chairman Barton isn’t far off the mark.

And so we ask again: If no exploration of our own resources, if no biofuels, then what? How ’bout we just conserve our way to energy independence? How’s that going? As the policies of the left take hold and prices are driven up and jobs are driven overseas — where energy is tapped, and cheap — they just might get their way.

UPDATE (By Carter Wood): Wind energy is a prime example of this phenomenon. Environmentalists support it theoretically because it’s clean, efficient, full of great potential. But once a project starts to take shape, environmentalists become opponents because towers kill birds and bats, take up vast areas, and destroy the viewshed. For example, a battle now rages in Vermont, an energy importing state, over a proposed project to erect windtowers along a ridge of mountains:

For a state that normally prizes environmental initiatives, the debate over wind power poses a thorny dilemma. Eager to embrace clean energy but leery about spoiling views, some communities are putting up stiff opposition to plans for new wind projects.

“It’s a reflection of the deep environmental consciousness of this state,” said environmentalist Bill McKibben, an author who has written about global warming. “People are rightly deeply attached to their landscape and they’ve done a terrific job in protecting it over the years.”

Sigh. Guess that leaves nuclear energy as Vermont’s best choice as a source of clean power. Right? Right?