Obama and the Future Fallacy
Everyone but the president is rethinking the promise of “green” energy.


Mona Charen

Remember Mr. Obama’s invocation of Chinese progress on solar technologies in his bid for subsidies to Solyndra and the rest? It seems the Chinese were grinding out those solar panels mostly in response to European demand — an artificial demand that relied almost entirely on the subsidies of European governments. David Baldock, of the Institute for European Environmental Policy, told the Post that “governments aren’t always good at knowing how to profile their subsidies against market conditions.” Hmm. Remove the “always” from that sentence, and you’re getting somewhere.

Europe is backing away from green-energy subsidies because they are a waste of precious resources. The Europeans are also aware, though no one discusses it much, that all of their subsidies haven’t reduced Europe’s production of CO2 one whit. Because of the EU-wide system of emissions trading, the emissions credits earned by solar and wind plants in Germany and elsewhere have simply gone to older, dirtier plants in Eastern Europe.

Facing devastating deficits and shrinking populations, Europe is rethinking its embrace of the green-energy “future.” As Miranda Schreurs, director of the Environmental Policy Research Center at the Free University of Berlin told the Post, “Everybody knows we can’t go the way we’ve been going. . . . It’ll break the bank.”

Well, not “everybody.” Not President Obama.

— Mona Charen is a nationally syndicated columnist. © 2012 Creators Syndicate, Inc.