The Corner

Invincible Energy Ignorance

One of William F. Buckley’s favorite phrases was “invincible ignorance,” and though it has lots of domains among liberals, energy ignorance has to rank high up in the hierarchy. CNN’s Roland Martin lets out a typical blast in a column today demanding that the U.S. “get off oil.” He delivers such analytical gems as:

Embracing non-oil energy alternatives — wind, natural gas, electric and solar — can absolutely create jobs in this country, and we should require Americans to make their homes more energy efficient with products built by Americans. What’s wrong with that? How can the United States create solar technology and then allow the Chinese to become the leading manufacturer of wind turbines and solar panels? No one alternative energy source can replace oil.

Actually, none of those sources can replace oil, because none of them power automobiles. But it is typical to hear people say we need wind and solar to help break our dependence on foreign oil.  

In fact, we did “get of oil” once in the recent past — we quit using oil to generate electricity starting in the late 1970s. In the mid 1970s, oil generated over 20 percent of our electricity. High prices changed that. Now oil generates less than 1 percent of our electricity. What did we use to “get off” oil? Coal and nuclear power mostly. Oops.

Steven F. Hayward — Stephen F. Hayward is a senior resident scholar at the Institute of Governmental Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and the author of a two-volume political history, The Age of Reagan.

Most Popular

Elections

Stick a Fork in O’Rourke

If, as I wrote last week here, Joe Biden may save the Democratic party from a horrible debacle at the polls next year, Beto O’Rourke may be doing the whole process a good turn now. Biden, despite his efforts to masquerade as the vanguard of what is now called progressivism, is politically sane and, if ... Read More
Education

Ivy-League Schools Wither

A  number of liberal bastions are daily being hammered — especially the elite university and Silicon Valley. A Yale and a Stanford, or Facebook and Google, assume — for the most part rightly — that each is so loudly progressive that the public, federal and state regulators, and politicians would of ... Read More
Elections

In Defense of the Electoral College

Senator Elizabeth Warren has joined a growing chorus within the Democratic party in calling for the abolition of the Electoral College. Speaking at a forum in Mississippi on Monday night, Warren said that she hoped to ensure that “every vote matters” and proposed that “the way we can make that happen is ... Read More