Another defection from the gospel of renewable energy, and it's a biggie: no less than the head of the Brookings Institution's energy initiative. Brookings is the most prestigious of the liberal think tanks in Washington, and carries considerable weight in elite media and political circles. Charles K. Ebinger writes in the LA Times:
Let me say upfront that I have always been a Democrat. However, I also vote my conscience and have supported independent candidates. Today, energy policy is one area where I think my party is wrong. (snip)
Today's Democratic leadership has reached a nadir in rational energy policymaking. In the last several years, congressional party leaders have squandered opportunities for a nuclear waste management storage program and have shown opposition to shale gas production. This month, the party reached a new low: The Obama administration's delay of the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada, in spite of its promise of an additional 750,000 barrels of oil per day and the thousands of new jobs it would create, was an inexcusable political decision unbecoming of a pragmatic leader.
The former generation of Democratic legislators would have embraced the energy opportunities before the United States today. Whoever is president in 2013, it will be the first time in 40 years that the United States has a serious chance to transform its energy landscape. The previously accepted inexorable decline in U.S. oil and gas production is being reversed: New "tight oil" - resources trapped in low-porosity formations such as shale rock - could provide the country with several million barrels of oil per day in the coming decades, and the country's abundant and accessible shale gas reserves may leave us gas independent for up to a century. There also are still conventional reserves to be tapped, most notably in Alaska, where the Beaufort and Chukchi seas and the North Slope hold an abundance of hydrocarbon reserves.
The insanity of borrowing money from China to send money to OPEC nations to provide energy, while squandering untold billions on doomed "green" energy initiatives like windmills (which serve as blenders for migratory birds, though greenie groups avert their eyes from the carnage) is so self-evident that even a Democrat can see it. The prospect of high paying jobs in energy production, of even becoming an energy exporter, driving down world energy prices and this weakening Iran and other Islamist states is simply too obvious.
Ebinger's op-ed can be best understood as a warning to Democrats elected officials to reverse course, or else suffer the consequences at the polls in 2012. The cascading scandals undermining the legitimacy of the warmist movement, the scandal of funneling taxpayer money to Solyndra and other doomed green schemes, and the rising energy bills troubling consumers as utilities hike electricity prices to pay for uneconomical "green" power sources they are required to purchase, all signal that the con game is coming to end.
Hat tip: Abby Schacter, New York Post.