In some ways it is unfair to blame President Barack Obama entirely for the self-destructive energy policy on which the United States has embarked. Liberals such as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., support him whole-heartedly. So do millions of Americans. They have been deluded into believing what Obama proposes will work. It will not.
Obama wants to destroy the U.S. coal industry. In its place he wants the nation to rely on exotic forms of energy such as wind and solar power. He thinks converting the power plants that furnish electricity for nearly half the homes in the county from coal to natural gas will save the environment. None of that is realistic.
During an energy summit held recently at West Virginia University, experts pointed out that wasting billions of dollars on subsidies for failing solar power companies is insane. Instead, the money should be spent finding ways to use the nation's only abundant energy source - coal - more cleanly and efficiently.
One example of how Americans have been misled involves natural gas: Even with relatively new discoveries of gas, the total proved reserves in the United States are adequate to fuel demand in this country - at today's levels - for only about 12 years. But as utility companies schedule closure of dozens of coal-fired power plants and plan to convert generating capacity to gas, U.S. reserves will fall more quickly. Meanwhile, however, the U.S. has enough recoverable coal reserves to meet demand at current levels for about 400 years.
Solar and wind energy still are not viable without government subsidies of one sort or another. And they cannot provide all the energy the nation needs simply because the sun doesn't shine and the wind doesn't blow at some times and in some places.
Like it or not, America needs coal as our primary source of energy.