More solar-powered hot air

Reasonable people considering President Barack Obama’s energy and environmental policies might conclude he is attempting to force us to turn away from sources of reasonably priced electricity on which we have relied for years – coal and natural gas. Obama’s hope is that government can engineer a massive shift to so-called “renewables” such as wind and solar power.

To make that happen, Obama plans to use the Environmental Protection Agency to make it prohibitively expensive to build and operate coal-fired power stations. Down the road, as suggested by new EPA rules on the oil and gas industries, the same fate may be in store for generating units fueled by gas.

Sounds very much like dictating to Americans what sources of energy we must use, doesn’t it?

Not according to the president. During a speech last week, Obama accused critics of his agenda of trying to restrict consumers’ choices. The fossil fuel industry is attempting to prevent Americans from being able to get their electricity from sources such as solar and wind, Obama claimed.

You may have noticed there is no law, state or federal, compelling utilities to generate power with coal or gas. To the contrary, many states have laws mandating that power companies use more alternatives such as solar and wind.

So no one is attempting to keep consumers, through the utilities that serve them, from relying more on alternative energy sources. Again, the contrary is true: It is Obama, through the EPA, who is attempting to force consumers to pay much more for their electricity, in order to use alternatives.

After giving his speech, Obama commented that he was ready after a two-week vacation to get back to Washington to do battle with political foes he referred to as “crazies.”

That is how the president of the United States views Americans who prefer real choice in the marketplace – who would like to be able to choose coal, gas, wind, solar or any other source for their electricity.

“Crazies.” Really, Mr. President?