When President Obama took the stage to close out Harry Reid?s traveling planet salvation show this past week in Las Vegas, he accused opponents of his sweeping clean energy plans of spreading misinformation.
?We refuse to surrender the hope of a clean energy future to those who fear it and fight it, and sometimes provide misinformation about it,? he charged at the National Clean Energy Summit 8.0.
But it was Obama who was spreading the misinformation, including his constant drumbeat about the immediate and devastating threat of climate change. There has been no significant increase in global temperatures in 20 years, despite what the climate change models all predicted. And his own EPA estimates its new rules on carbon emissions will cut global warming 0.018?C by 2100.
Obama also had the audacity ? on the same day his administration announced billions of dollars in new loan guarantees for renewable energy projects ? to claim renewables can compete in the free market against fossil fuel power generation.
?A lot of Americans are going solar and becoming more energy efficient not because they?re tree huggers ? although trees, you know, are important ? just want you to know ? but because they?re cost-cutters. They like saving money,? Obama said. ?And I?m all for a consumer saving money, because that means they can spend it on other stuff. Solar isn?t just for the green crowd anymore ? it?s for the green eyeshade crowd, too.?
Without tax breaks, tax credits, subsidies, renewable portfolio requirements and high sell-back rates, solar and wind do not yet pencil out.
Obama also lashed out at opponents he claimed were ?trying to undermine competition in the marketplace, and choke off consumer choice, and threaten an industry that?s churning out new jobs at a fast pace.?
Study after study have shown that for every ?green? energy job created by taxpayer subsidies and higher power cost at least two jobs in the rest of the economy are lost.
Earlier this year Obama linked an increase in hurricanes to climate change, even though no major hurricane has hit the U.S. in nine years.
In introducing Obama, Reid also repeated the false hurricane narrative, ?Protecting the earth?s climate is the greatest challenge of our time. Does everybody agree? (Applause) You see this climate change doesn?t affect a particular people or industry or region or country. Climate change affects everybody, every American, every human being on the face of the earth, no matter where they live. From record break droughts in the Southwest to coastal flooding in the East, we?re seeing the impacts of increasing temperatures and rising sea levels. Hurricanes are becoming more frequent and that?s an understatement. ??
He then claimed that rising temperatures are breeding ticks that have killed 30 percent of the moose population in the Northeast. That nexus is tenuous at best.
?Warm weather is preventing in some places bears from hibernating,? Reid said. FactCheck.org rated the hibernation claim a falsehood.
Obama and Reid never let the facts get in the way of their drive to dole out taxpayer money to their cronies and contributors in the green energy industry.
Obama even joined Reid in his attacks on the Koch brothers: ?But when you start seeing massive lobbying efforts backed by fossil fuel interests, or conservative think tanks, or the Koch brothers pushing for new laws to roll back renewable energy standards or prevent new clean energy businesses from succeeding ? that?s a problem. That?s not the American way. That?s not progress. That?s not innovation. That?s rent seeking and trying to protect old ways of doing business and standing in the way of the future.?
In the same building where Reid held his clean energy show, a coalition of people countered with a group of speakers at what they called the Affordable Energy Summit 8.0 to point out the highly subsidized clean energy is prohibitively expensive and produces few environmental benefits.
?Forcing Americans to spend increasingly high amounts of money on energy deprives us of the means to purchase health care, education, better nutrition, and a wide array of goods and services that make life happier and healthier,? said Heartland Institute senior fellow for environment and energy policy James Taylor. ?It also kills jobs throughout the entire economy when people have less money to spend on these desirable goods and services.?
But Reid and Obama never let the facts get in the way of their transformative schemes.
Thomas Mitchell is a longtime Nevada newspaper columnist. You may email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He also blogs at http://4thst8.wordpress.com/.