Has President Obama declared war on America’s fossil-fuel industry? The administration has been at pains to deny claims by lawmakers of both parties that it is waging a “war on coal.” But what if the real war is wider? Largely unnoticed by critics, Obama has begun supporting a cause called the “fossil-fuel resistance” by its radical advocates. The movement’s leading edge is a drive to have college endowments, as well as church, municipal, and state pension funds, divest themselves of stock in any large fossil-fuel companies.
Fossil-fuel divestment is meant to turn America’s conventional energy producers into social pariahs. Its goal is the enactment of a steeply escalating carbon tax that would result in America’s oil companies’ having to leave 80 percent or more of their known reserves forever unused in the earth. A massive national shift to renewable energy sources could then be financed by a slow-motion, government-imposed shutdown of America’s fossil-fuel industry.