PRESIDENT Barack Obama has claimed his administration will “restore science to its rightful place,” but his policies are increasingly faith-based. Obama's insistence on mandating alternative energy use, regardless of the real-world consequences, is just the latest example.
The president last week signed a memorandum directing the federal government to nearly triple its use of renewable energy sources for electricity by 2020. Under that directive, the government will be expected to get 20 percent of electricity from renewable sources, up from the previous goal of 7.5 percent.
We have nothing against alternative energy — wind, solar, whatever — but those energy sources haven't overtaken fossil fuels for one simple reason: Alternative energy production costs more and is less reliable. Thus, Obama's memo is ordering the federal government to spend more for less.
That's not surprising given Obama's fiscal track record. Even so, this action shouldn't go unnoticed. At a time of unsustainably high deficit spending, Obama is making things worse by asking that taxpayers also get reduced bang for their borrowed buck.
This is especially worrisome in the area of national defense, where the administration has already set a goal for the Defense Department to have 25 percent of its energy needs supplied by renewable energy by 2025. Under the sequester plan hatched within the Obama administration, defense faces 50 percent of all spending cuts. Obama apparently hoped this would force Republicans to cave to his demands for higher taxes and increased spending; it didn't.
If alternative energy is the most cost-effective source for a military installation, then by all means use it. Otherwise, the military should use the most affordable and reliable energy sources — period. Military spending should augment our nation's might and deter aggression by U.S. enemies, but Obama's order prioritizes windmill installation to the detriment of military preparedness.