American Elephants


The Green Lobby Wants to Destroy Modern Civilization. by The Elephant's Child

America has undergone a monumental change, and the major media are just waking up to it. The administration has apparently not heard. America is awash in fossil fuels. We have lots. All that bit about being dependent on foreign oil — nevermind. America has a boom in shale natural gas, and even Fortune magazine admitted it in a cover story.

So, naturally, as night follows day, the Sierra Club has announced a new battle plan called “Beyond Natural Gas.” This is a companion piece to “Beyond Coal,” in which the Sierra Club has been lobbying for rules to force the shutdown of America’s coal-fired power plants, the closure of coal mines, an end to the use of coal — which supplies just a little less than half the electricity in the country.

The theme was previously that coal was dirty, disgusting, dangerous, and we should rely instead on clean natural gas. Now that they have the closure of coal-fired power plants well underway, they are turning to eliminating natural gas. Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune announced their goal this month.”We’re going to be preventing new gas plants from being built wherever we can.” They have rolled out a new website that says:

The natural gas industry is dirty, dangerous and running amok. The closer we look at natural gas, the dirtier it appears, and the less of it we burn, the better off we will be.

Sounds vaguely familiar. But this is no idle threat. The Sierra Club has deep pockets, with 1.4 million members, generous funding from liberal foundations, and the knowledge of just how to work the media and the politicians. The lobby has successfully helped to block new nuclear plants for more than 30 years, the “Beyond Oil” campaign helped to keep much of America off-limits to oil drilling, and its “Beyond Coal” campaign has all but shut down new coal plants, and is working on shutting down the old ones.

The Sierra Club was once a modest affair, founded by John Muir in 1892, to “make the mountains glad.”It is the oldest and arguably the most powerful environmental group in the nation.  But it is no longer my father’s Sierra Club. It used to offer  summer horse packing trips into the high Sierra, featured Ansell Adams’ beautiful photographs of Yosemite, and grew into photography books, animal books and all those nice things that make us love nature — that we can put on our coffee tables to show how ecologically with it we are.  It has grown into a radical environmentalist organization of 1.4 million members with leadership positions held by activists with radical ties. It has managed to maintain a “mainstream” image, but its goals are hardly mainstream.

The radicalism of radical environmentalism is way out there, and makes little sense. They essentially oppose modern civilization, and all its peoples.  They are attempting to shut down the power plants that power the wind farms and solar arrays that they, for now, favor.  How long will wind energy be acceptable when Congress offer special waivers to the wind farms for the eagles they chop up? The green energy bubble is bursting everywhere.  The Energy Tribune notes:

The EU’s ideologically-driven Energy Road Map prioritized ‘green’ renewable energy, diverting away from Russian natural gas dependency and harmonizing energy and environmental needs. The result: a devastatingly inept screw up that threatens continent-wide power outages even, as Die Welt recently reported, in Germany as early as next winter.

In short order, EU energy policies have created an unsustainable, publicly-subsidized, market-skewing ‘green’ energy bubble, eschewed a cheap fossil fuels policy and realistic alternatives to Russian gas imports. Together those failed policies have resulted in the double double-whammy of soaring of energy prices and, as is now being reported, diminishing European industrial competitiveness.

The Sierra Club gets no awards for consistency. They were all for natural gas when the price was $8 or more per million BTUs and the supply seemed to be limited.  But gas prices have fallen to $2.50, and natural gas may come to dominate U.S. energy production. Wind and solar and biofuel power may never be competitive. If the subsidies are removed, there will be no profit in wind and solar anyway. It’s ordinary people who will benefit if there is a plentiful supply of cheap natural gas. It will benefit industry and the economy, and there are somewhere around 600,000 jobs in the natural gas industry alone, not to mention the jobs provided by a thriving economy fueled by cheap, abundant energy from natural gas and coal.


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