A Free-Market Energy Blog

Stephen Moore on Energy: Sound as Gold

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- April 15, 2019

“The chief victims of the war against fossil fuels are the poorest citizens of the poorest nations. Developing countries need cheap energy.” – Stephen Moore and Kathleen Hartnett White. Fueling Freedom: Exposing the Mad War on Energy, p. 237.

Stephen Moore, nominated last month by the Trump Administration for the Federal Reserve Board, has attracted criticism for his views on energy and climate from the usual sources (Grist, Huff Post, Desmog). In fact, poor and rich Americans and Left and Right politicos should support Moore’s realistic, utilitarian views. Dense mineral energies are for the masses in virtually all aspects of their daily lives.

Moore’s energy/climate views are well stated in his 300-page multidisciplinary primer (coauthored with Kathleen Hartnett White), Fueling Freedom: Exposing the Mad War on Energy (Regnery: 2016). Some quotations of note follow:

Fossil-fuel Exceptionalism

“Fossil fuels are wonder fuels. If we want a just, prosperous, healthy, and safe world that respects the rights and dignity of the individual, we have a moral imperative to use them in a responsible and productive way.” (p. 26)

Fossil-fuel Environmentalism

“Spread the news! Man’s carbon footprint shrinks his physical footprint on the earth.” (p. 155)

“Labeling carbon dioxide a pollutant is one of the climate-change lobby’s more absurd gestures…. In fact, carbon dioxide is a plant nutrient essential for all human, animal, and plant life.” (p. 211)

Fossil Fuels Eradicate Poverty

“Fossil fuels have been one of the greatest anti-poverty programs in history, improving the human condition more than all of the trillions of dollars of government welfare programs and foreign aid programs combined. By contrast, most forms of green energy aren’t green at all. They’re a prescription to make the poor poorer.” (p. 166)

“The astonishing leap in agricultural production in the twentieth century, known as the Green Revolution, could not have occurred without abundant, affordable fossil fuels. Indeed, the Green Revolution is simply a later chapter of the energy revolution on which the Industrial Revolution relied.” (p. 151)

‘Green’ Energy: Regressive Taxation

“The costs of most green policies hit low- and middle-income families disproportionately; the wealthy don’t notice the extra digit or two on their energy bills.” (p. 191)

“The regressive effect of high-cost but low-performing green energy systems already harms middle-, low-, and fixed-income households in Germany and England.” (p. 146)

“Carbon taxes, cap and trade schemes, regulatory impediments to drilling, and renewable energy standards are all regressive taxes.” (p. 236)

Left Hypocrisy

“… we are struck by the irony that so many on the political Left who want to redistribute wealth are the same people who want to abandon cheap, safe, and efficient forms of power production in favor of much more expensive, unreliable, and even ecologically damaging forms of energy.” (p. 164)

“The polities of ‘environmental justice’ promoted by the Left are robbing the poor, who spend a much larger share of their income on energy than do the rich.” (pp. 236–237)

“The anti-fossil-fuels crusade in America and around the globe is inspired in part by a philosophical and theological revolt against the pursuit of growth and development. They want a ‘steady state,’ not a growth state.” (p. 233)

“… the war against fossil fuels threatens to pull off one of the greatest wealth transfers from the poor to the rich in history.” (p. 232)

“Never before have the rulers of a society intentionally driven it backwards to scarcer, more expensive, and less efficient energy.” (p. xv)

Help, Don’t Hurt, the Poor

“… the global war on fossil fuels is a war against progress, prosperity, and the poor. Reliance on inefficient renewable energy will hit the poor hardest, denying opportunity and enhanced living standards to those who need them most.” (p. 236)

“One of the surest ways of increasing inequality and hindering the fight against hunger, disease, pollution, malnutrition, poverty, and deprivation is to make energy more expensive, because doing so makes everything
more expensive.” (p. 166)

“For poor countries, which should be using more, not less, fossil fuel to power their twenty-first-century economic progress, mandatory energy reduction targets spell a cruel regression.” (p. 232)

“The chief victims of the war against fossil fuels are the poorest citizens of the poorest nations. Developing countries need cheap energy.” (p. 237)

Energy-wise, Stephen Moore is more than qualified to enter government service.

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