In the same interview in which Sen. Barack Obama said that he would cause coal-burning power plants to go bankrupt, he also said that, as president, he would purposefully cause energy prices to â€œskyrocket.â€
The two statements combined could make Obamaâ€™s position rather problematic in the last days of the campaign. For months, Obama campaigned as a reasonably moderate Democrat, preferring pragmatism over idealism. His voting record and increasingly more statements, past votes and actions and associations, however, indicate that the real Obama is the one who became the most liberal member of the U.S. Senate.
What he said--Min0
â€œThe problem is not technical and the problem is not mastery of the legislative intricacies of Washington,â€ Obama told the San Fransisco Chronicle about energy. â€œThe problem is, can you get people to say, â€˜this is really important,â€™ and force their representatives to do the right thing? That requires mobilizing a citizenry. That requires them understanding what is at stake. And climate change is a great example,â€ he said.
â€œYou know, when I was asked earlier about the issue of coal, you know â€” under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket. Even regardless of what I say about whether coal is good or bad. Because Iâ€™m capping greenhouse gases, coal power plants, you know, natural gas, you name it â€” whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was, they would have to retrofit their operations. That will cost money. They will pass that money on to consumers.â€
He went on to say: â€œYou know, when I was asked earlier about the issue of coal, uh, you know â€” Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket. Even regardless of what I say about whether coal is good or bad. Because Iâ€™m capping greenhouse gases, coal power plants, you know, natural gas, you name it â€” whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was, uh, they would have to retrofit their operations. That will cost money. They will pass that money on to consumers.â€
Obama then went on to explain that this skyrocketing of the prices would hopefully result in people pursuing cleaner energy sources, which would then help combat climate change. â€œThey â€” you â€” you can already see what the arguments will be during the general election. People will say, â€˜Ah, Obama and Al Gore, these folks, theyâ€™re going to destroy the economy, this is going to cost us eight trillion dollars,â€™ or whatever their number is. If you canâ€™t persuade the American people that yes, there is going to be some increase in electricity rates on the front end, but that over the long term, because of combinations of more efficient energy usage, changing lightbulbs and more efficient appliance, but also technology improving how we can produce clean energy, the economy would benefit,â€ he said.
As conservative blogger Ed Morrissey pointed out in a blogpost at Hot Air about the statements quoted above, â€œwhile no one doubts the need to start transitioning to better sources of energy, the manner in which that gets done means the difference of whether it gets done at all. A stagnant or receding economy does not produce scientific breakthroughs, especially when government both increases taxes and imposes steep cost burdens on energy. That cuts into both manufacturing and R&D, because as profits fall, fewer dollars go into research â€” which means that all of these wonderful developments would get delayed, or go unrealized altogether.â€
If one wants to reform the American energy system, one has to do so prudently, and without destroying the economy. Obama agreed back in January of this year that his energy would plan would cause tremendous problems to the economy but, he hopes, these problems will be overcome years later. Perhaps, but also perhaps not. What can clearly be said is that Obamaâ€™s approach is once again distinctly immoderate and highly ideological. Pragmatists would look at the issue of global warming and energy, and would favor a plan that would bring change slowly and without destroying an entire economy. An idealist, on the other hand, would be willing to pursue plans that might not even work, one, and, two, that would do tremendous damage to the economy.
Developing alternative energy sources will take many years, decades even. Part of this energy will undoubtedly have to come from nuclear plantations - which is something Obama opposes, once again out of idealism.
Furthermore, the United States economy is already weak and extremely vulnerable. â€œSkyrocketingâ€ energy prices would, as aforementioned Morrissey again worded perfectly, be a â€œdisaster.â€
Most amazing about todayâ€™s audios is not that Obama made the statements; many people such as myself have always said that Obama may be many things, but a moderate he is not. Pay special attention to Obamaâ€™s â€œwhatever their number isâ€-remark. He does not even take the cost of his plan serious.
Instead, what is surprising is that American â€˜oldâ€™ media have ignored them completely and even actively tried to bury them. This is more than worthy of coverage; energy is one of the most important issues in the coming years, the statements of candidates on it should be reported and shared with the public.