Many Democrats are becoming more open about their socialist inclinations, although they still lie about socialism’s ability to make the world a better place.
Socialism kills. From the former Soviet Union to Cuba, from North Korea to Venezuela, everywhere socialism was implemented, it robbed people of their freedom and property, produced economic stagnation and misallocation of resources and resulted in millions of deaths, caused either directly or indirectly.
Despite this fact, in an interview in New York Magazine, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio pined for government control over everyone’s property –their homes, their businesses, everything, saying, “I think there’s a socialistic impulse … if I had my druthers, the city government would determine every single plot of land, how development would proceed.” Because that’s brought such happiness, prosperity, and better living conditions to the people of Cuba, North Korea and Venezuela.
Then we come to the energy socialism being pushed by self-described socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a newly elected Democratic Representative from New York, among others. Despite an annual salary topping $174,000, Ocasio-Cortez complained with a straight face after being elected that it will be hard for her to find a place she can afford to rent in Washington, D.C. — a city, by the way, that almost perfectly satisfies de Blasio’s desire for all of the property in the city being owned by, its uses directed by, or sharply delimited by various levels of government. I’ve got a news flash for Ocasio-Cortez: most people, even those in D.C., live on much less.
Despite her struggle to find affordable housing on her taxpayer-funded lavish salary, Ocasio-Cortez has the hubris to believe Congress and federal bureaucracies in D.C. have the wisdom to control and direct peoples energy choices across the nation.
Ocasio-Cortez led protests outside long-time Democratic congressional leader Nancy Pelosi’s office last week, demanding the front-runner for speaker of the House push for greater government control over the nation’s energy system in the next Congress.
In fact, Ocasio-Cortez has proposed what she calls a “Green New Deal,” requiring “the investment of trillions of dollars,” to transition the United States to a 100 percent renewable energy system by 2035.
Unfortunately, Ocasio-Cortez is not alone in her distorted economics and history philosophies. Many Democrats now favor energy socialism. Hundreds of Democratic candidates for local, state and federal offices in the 2018 midterm elections signed a pledge to push for the 100 percent renewable energy makeover. Undoubtedly, many of those candidates now sit in positions of power to restrict peoples’ use of affordable, reliable fossil fuels and enforce expensive renewable energy mandates on them.
Indeed, after the gains so-called progressive Democrats made in the election, the number of Democratic lawmakers who support the radical, Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act will undoubtedly have grown. Democratic Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii introduced the OFF Act with relatively little public notice in September 2017. The OFF Act requires “100 percent renewable energy by 2035 (and 80 percent by 2027), places a moratorium on new fossil fuel projects, bans the export of oil and gas, and also moves our automobile and rail systems to 100 percent renewable energy.”
Unattainable energy policies, supported fully by numerous environmental extremists, would destroy millions of jobs and put the United States at a huge disadvantage when competing against other countries, especially China, India, Russia and other nations whose environmental laws are much less stringent.
Energy is the lifeblood of the economy, powering everything we do. Giving government even more control over energy development and use than it already has, including directing or limiting people’s fundamental choices over how to move about the country, what kind of electronics they use and how and when they can be charged, how to light, heat, cook in, and exercise climate control in their homes, what types of energy investments they want in their retirement portfolios, and what types of energy sources companies can develop, supply, and use would be catastrophic. Only chaos and misery will result.
Wind, solar, and other forms of renewable energy are more expensive and less reliable than traditional energy sources like natural gas and coal, which explains why states that require or subsidize renewable energy sources or tax fossil fuels at high rates have higher electric power and gasoline costs than states with lower gas tax burdens and which don’t demand, or subsidize the use of renewables.
The U.S. economy is the envy of the world, built on a power system reliant primarily on relatively inexpensive, reliable fossil fuels. Adopting the kind of energy socialism being pushed by Democrats threatens to impoverish families, cause greater unemployment and bring the power grid and the economy crashing down.
In Europe, which is much further down the road to energy socialism than most of the United States, thousands of people die in winter due to a lack of reliable heat, and during the summer from not having access to reliable air conditioning. These are third-world energy problems brought on by increasing government control over the energy system.
Energy socialism can’t fix our problems, but it sure can make things much worse.
H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D. is a senior fellow on energy and the environment at The Heartland Institute.
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