Jonah Goldberg
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"I passionately believe we must transition to renewable energy, but it is clear the economy is simply not ready and government is ill-equipped to pick successful companies better than the market can.

"Taxpayers gave $58 million to Evergreen Solar in Massachusetts. It cut 800 jobs and is now bankrupt.

"Just last week, a company my administration touted as the crown jewel of the new green economy, Solyndra Inc., announced plans to file for bankruptcy, despite half a billion dollars in loan guarantees from the federal government.

"I've said many times that green jobs cannot be sent overseas. But that, it seems, is not true. We subsidize solar panels here in the U.S., and the Chinese build them at pennies on the dollar and sell them to us.

"However, you cannot drill for American oil in China, and you will never find American natural gas in the Middle East.

"No other country in the world refuses to exploit its natural wealth the way we do. This must end.

"We will take the tax-revenue windfall from new oil and gas exploration and invest it in basic energy and sound climate research in the hope of solving our problems through innovation instead of immiseration.

"Let me be clear: The reason there were no shovel-ready jobs is because government rules and regulations make it difficult to hire people. In California, we wasted seven months sorting out prevailing wage rates before we could hire green workers. And even then, the relevant regulations were so onerous that the costs of weatherization weren't worth the effort.

"My fellow Americans, I've said many times I believe that government can do amazing things. I still believe that. But after more than two years of bold, persistent experimentation, it has become clear that in this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem."

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Jonah Goldberg

Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online,and the author of the forthcoming book The Tyranny of Clichés. You can reach him via Twitter @JonahNRO.
 
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