Europe Starts To Run, Not Walk, Away From Green Economics

  • Date: 07/02/14
  • Investor's Business Daily

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.

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