Niger Innis

Liberal politicians and environmental activists continue to say we must switch to “green” energy. Oil, gas, coal and nuclear must go, they insist.

Informed voters support conservation and alternative energy. But they know fossil and nuclear fuels created health and living standards unprecedented in history.

Over two-thirds of American voters support increased onshore and offshore drilling. They know world energy demand is surging, while US production is prohibited and declining. They realize anti-drilling policies don’t just cause unemployment and cost us trillions in lost lease bonus, royalty and tax revenues.

Those policies also wage an immoral war on poor families. They destroy jobs, erode civil rights gains, and force minority and elderly households to choose between food, fuel, rent and medicine.

Since 2006, the cost of driving a 25-mpg car 10,000 miles has risen $600. Heating and air-conditioning costs – and the price of everything we eat, wear and do – continue to soar. While higher income families spend a nickel of every dollar on energy, families at the bottom of our economic scale spend up to half of their incomes on gasoline, heating and cooling.

This is intolerable and unnecessary. We have centuries’ worth of oil, gas, oil shale, coal and uranium – and we can develop them without harming the environment.

But environmental radicals in and out of Congress refuse to let us do so. They want to force us to switch to renewables, even though there is a yawning chasm between 0.5% of US energy produced by wind and solar power – and 93% produced with hydrocarbon and nuclear power.

The eventual switch to alternative energy is obviously decades away. Meanwhile, we are sending up to $700 billion a year to Russia, Iran, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and other countries – in the midst of our worst economic crisis in memory.

People are justifiably angry that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi refused to allow a debate or vote on ending congressional drilling bans. The only “energy” bills she supports would open few areas, while adding more taxes, regulations, lawsuits, delays, price hikes, and renewable-energy mandates and subsidies. They will produce little or no new energy.

Wind farms with hundreds of gargantuan, unreliable turbines have to be located where the wind actually blows, usually hundreds of miles from cities. That means long transmission lines, often through forests and scenic areas. And that means opposition, delays and lawsuits from the same environmentalists who “support” wind and oppose power plants that actually produce abundant, reliable, affordable energy.

Niger Innis

Niger Innis currently serves as the National Spokesman for the Congress of Racial Equality.