C02 reduction regulations and subsidies for “green energy” are destroying the European economy, and the United States is next.
But Europe’s waking up. After years of trying to lead the push to go green, it has turned around and begun steep cuts in its climate protection goals. Why? To save member states’ economies.
For example, Germany, one of the strongest proponents of environmental regulations in the European Union (EU), has seen energy prices soar, making its prices the highest in Europe. According to the Telegraph,, a three-person household will soon be paying ninety euros a month for electricity ($123.05) and 300,000 households per year are having their power turned off because they can’t pay the bill.
These high prices are in part due to the large subsidies (taxes) given for wind and solar energy. In addition, “green” energy producers are guaranteed a offline, and the rest are scheduled to be shut down by 2022.
Germany, like all who subscribe to the environmentalists’ viewpoint, has put being “green” over the good of its people. They have forgotten God’s created order, and the outcome has been more and more people, usually the poorest, hurt by bad policy. Environmentalists strongly support subsidies for “green” energy, but “Thou shalt not steal” is a commandment that should not be forgotten. Germany has been stealing from its people to fund its solar and wind habit, and, as with all addicts, a time comes when that habit either has to be kicked, or severe damage ensues.
Because of the disturbing economic situation and German industries’ fears that they will no longer be competitive, Germany’s Economy Minister, Sigmar Gabriel, wants to cut “green” subsidies by one-third by 2015. But is it too little too late?
The EU has reduced its climate protection goals so that though targets will be binding on the EU level, they will not be binding on member states. Goals include a target of 27% “green” energy production, but with no guidelines for how member states meet that target.
The European Commission, executive branch of the EU, has called for “an industrial renaissance” in Europe. Recognizing that “green” regulation’s damage to industry is part of the reason for Europe’s failing economy (unemployment in EU was 10.9% as of October), the Commission is attempting to encourage a more industry-friendly economic environment.
The Commission intends to make the regulatory environment more “stable and predictable” and make EU laws “easier and reduce bureaucratic burdens.”
Included in a more industry-friendly environment are laws allowing hydro-fracking for shale gas. The EU is setting basic principles for health and safety but will not be “meddling in the energy mix that is to be chosen by member states,” claims Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.
This has lifted pressure on the UK to build wind and solar farms and left it free to pursue nuclear and shale gasenergy options. Prime Minister David Cameron announced January 27 that his government was ripping up “80,000 pages of environmental protections and building guidelines.”
Meanwhile, President Obama continues pushing the United States toward the brink by forging ahead with plans to fight the global warming that hasn’t happened in at least the last 17 years, using measures that will cost $trillions by mid-century but will cause no significant reduction in global temperature by the end of the century.
One of President Obama’s means to force the environmentalist agenda on Americans is The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Its war on coal destroyed between 13,000 and 17,000 direct and indirect jobs in 2012 alonedue to announced coal plant closures. Fast forward to 2014 and the EPA has announced a regulation that would effectively kill the coal industry. Any new coal power plant built, whether to replace or add to existing plants, must meet an emissions standard that is impossible with current technology.
At the state level there are also significant economic hardships from enactments of “green” policies. Colorado has seen a 20% faster increase in energy prices compared to the rest of the U.S. Why? Because Colorado followed Europe’s lead and passed a renewable energy mandate in 2004. Prices jumped even higher after these mandates were strengthened in 2007, 2010, and 2013. This translates into $4.2 billion in higher electricity costs since 2007.
Americans will continue to lose jobs due to environmental regulations, as well as increasing energy prices and higher taxes. Let’s save ourselves some heartache and learn a lesson from Europe.