The house of cards in Europe continues to fall.http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorial ... conomy.htm
Energy Policy: The media aren't paying much attention, but in recent weeks Europe has decided to run, not walk, as fast as it can away from the economic menace of green energy.
That's right, the same Europeans who used to chastise us for not signing the Kyoto climate change treaty, not passing a carbon tax and dooming the planet to catastrophic global warming.
In Brussels last month, European leaders agreed to scrap per-nation caps on carbon emissions. The EU countries — France, Germany, Italy and Spain — had promised a 40% reduction in emissions by 2030 (and 80% by 2050!). Now those caps won't apply to individual nations.
Brussels calls this new policy "flexibility." Right. More like "never mind," and here's why: The new German economic minister, Sigmar Gabriel, says green energy mandates have become such an albatross around the neck of industry that they could lead to a "deindustrialization" of Germany.
Chancellor Angela Merkel said earlier this year that overreliance on renewable energy could cause "a problem in terms of energy supply" — and she's always described herself as a green politician and a champion of these programs.
But green dreams have collided with cold economic reality. Green programs aren't creating green jobs but green unemployment at intolerable double-digit rates. The quip in economically exhausted Europe these days is that before we save the planet, we have to save ourselves.
Now European leaders are admitting quietly that they want to get into the game of fracking and other new drilling technologies that have caused an explosion of oil and gas production in the U.S.
According to energy expert Daniel Yergin, if Europe wants to remain competitive, these nations must tap the fountain of abundant and cheap shale gas and oil. He recently wrote that European leaders now realize a major factor behind the economic woes in euroland is that electric power costs are "two to three times more expensive" than in the U.S.
Consider the price of natural gas in the U.S. vs. other nations in the chart below. (Chart did not copy so I will recreate it here. Price of natural gas. Japan, 16.75 dollars per million Btu's. Germany, 11.03. UK, 9.46. USA, 3.50. And, Canada 2.27. Edit to add Milton Banana.) U.S. prices are about three to four times lower, and in states like Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania this is causing a renaissance in manufacturing. German engineering and manufacturing firms are looking to relocate to the U.S. where power costs are lower.
What's amazing about this story is that so few American politicians get it. President Obama talked in his State of the Union speech about doubling renewable energy output over the coming years. Mr. President, these are exactly the goals the Europeans are abandoning. Why chase the losers?
Why not try a different approach to energy policy? Get rid of all taxpayer subsidies for energy — oil, gas, wind and solar power, biofuels, electric-battery-operated cars and others — and create a true level playing field where every energy source competes on efficiency and cost rather than political/corporate favoritism?
The answer is that the green lobby knows it can't possibly compete on a level playing field. Not with natural gas at $4 and 150 years' worth of this power source in Appalachia's Marcellus shale basin and more out West.
The Europeans made nearly a $100 billion wrong bet on renewable energy, and their economies and citizens have taken a big hit. Now they've awakened to their mistakes. The shame is Washington is still slumbering