That’s the title of Richard Epstein’s latest Hoover Institution article, here’s the opening:
The dominant source of energy for the foreseeable future for both the United States and the world will be fossil fuels, chiefly in the form of oil, natural gas, and coal. Throughout the world, many groups will push hard for massive subsidies to wind and solar energy. Yet, that attempt, no matter how bold, will fail to shift the overall balance of energy production toward green sources. The fatal drawback of wind and solar is their lack of storability. Solar works when the sun shines. Wind works when breezes blow. Both often provide energy when it is not needed and fail to provide it when required. Any legal diktat that puts these renewable sources first will only produce a prolonged economic dislocation. Pie-in-the-sky proposals like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal, which stipulates 100 percent of energy needs be supplied by “clean, renewable, and zero emissions” sources, should be dead on arrival.
And here’s Richard’s conclusion:
It is quite shocking that many Democrats have lined up in defense of this extreme proposal without the slightest knowledge or awareness of its deeply counterproductive features. They seem to have adopted the dangerous mindset that the outcomes produced by traditional markets and deliberative processes are necessarily corrupt. The progressive movement, and the nation as a whole, will be in far better shape if the harshest critics of the status quo took it upon themselves to understand the many tradeoffs and compromises that are needed to operate any complex system—before implementing an infantile proposal that will wreck the whole thing.
MP: The chart above shows the latest EIA forecast to 2050, and confirms Richard’s forecast that the “dominant source of energy for the foreseeable future for both the United States and the world will be fossil fuels, chiefly in the form of oil, natural gas, and coal.” In fact, maybe not just the foreseeable future, but the future for the next quarter-century or more! Even more than 30 years from now, the fuels of the future — coal, natural gas, and oil — will be the sources for about 79% of our energy demand, not much different than today. And despite all of the hype and taxpayer subsidies, solar panels and windmills will supply less than 15% of our energy in 2050.