Right Hooks

Obama Chases an Unclean Energy Legacy

When it comes to Obama fulfilling his pledges, don't hold your breath.

Jordan Candler · Jun. 29, 2016

The North America Leaders’ Summit — or what the Investor’s Business Daily editorial board aptly calls the “‘Three Amigos’ summit” — began Wednesday in Ottawa, Canada, and it involves Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau along with Barack Obama and Mexico’s Pena Nieto. According to the White House website, the trio is unveiling “[a] historic goal to achieve 50% clean power across North America by 2025.”

“The administration calls it ‘ambitious,’” says Investor’s. “We call it ‘ludicrous.’” Here’s why:

“Since the U.S. accounts for three-quarters of the total energy produced by these three countries, the responsibility of living up to any such agreement would fall most heavily on the U.S. … According to the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration, ‘clean energy’ — nuclear, hydroelectric, solar, wind, biomass, etc. — makes up less than one-fifth of U.S. energy production. … So the only way to get there would be to dramatically increase one or all of these sources in nine years.”

And even then, IBD elucidates, the problem becomes fourfold: 1. Ecofascists are opposed to an energy infrastructure that relies heavily on hydroelectric and nuclear power. 2. Even if America did decide to broaden its reliance on nuclear energy — and there are no plans to do so — the process for developing the infrastructure would take far longer than the White House’s timeframe. 3. On the remaining options — wind, solar and biomass — “production levels from these sources would have to increase something like 470% in nine years for clean energy to account for half of the nation’s energy production.” Even the optimists would agree that’s an unrealistic expectation. 4. A pledge may look great on paper, but will Canada and Mexico follow through? That’s the trillion-dollar question.

“For a guy who is desperately fishing around for something to claim as a legacy,” IBD concludes, “President Obama’s running around making promises that he knows will never be kept is an odd way to go about things.” In other words, when it comes to Obama fulfilling his pledges, don’t hold your breath. On second thought, maybe you should. You might just save the world — and his legacy.

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