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  • Reagan’s Lessons Amid Clean Energy Posters

    As Americans travel to and from work out of Union Station in Washington DC, they are bombarded with dozens of posters created by Clean Energy Works, an organization that promotes legislation for the expansion of clean energy jobs. The posters lay out what would happen if Congress passes climate change legislation in a very telling way. They communicate short phrases such as:

    “Our farmers can grow energy in their fields”

    “Our electricians can install solar panels.”

    “Our engineers can create micro-fuel cells.”

    “Our welders can build wind turbine towers.”

    If companies decide to pursue renewable energy projects and hire Americans to build wind turbines and solar panels, it is their money to invest. If they deem the project profitable, they can do as they please.

    The problem comes when the government instructs farmers to grow energy in their fields; when the government dictates that electricians install solar panels; and when the government insists that engineers create micro-fuel cells and welders build turbine wind towers. Under such a plan, Americans will not be free to choose their own energy jobs because the development and expansion of fossil fuels will be closed to them. They will not be free to develop cheap, reliable energy but forced to invest in energies that are expensive and unreliable.

    Amid these posters in Union Station, President Reagan’s words are appropriately recalled. In his 1961 Operation Coffee Cup speech, Reagan warned against the pitfalls of policies that could erode personal freedoms. As he said,

    “…once you establish the precedent that the government can determine a man’s working place and his working methods, determine his employment. From here it is a short step to all the rest of socialism, to determining his pay and pretty soon your son won’t decide when he’s in school, where he will go or what they will do for a living. He will wait for the government to tell him where he will go to work and what he will do.”

    As the possibility of a massive government overhaul of the energy industry through cap and trade legislation comes to the forefront, Reagan’s words remind Americans of the price that must be paid for such policies. Let’s pay attention.

    Posted in Energy [slideshow_deploy]

    4 Responses to Reagan’s Lessons Amid Clean Energy Posters

    1. April, Colorado says:

      I don't think that using our great American innovations and technologies to produce energy that will reduce our dependency on foreign oil will lead us on the road to Socialism.

      Time to clean up our own mess…both in our environment and in our foreign politics. I don't know about you, but I'm tired of our country being an oil whore to foreign powers.

      And, if you don't think that our big businesses need to be regulated, then you haven't been paying attention. My idea of a free market does not involve allowing big businesses to screw us over!

    2. Roger S., Ma. says:

      "And, if you don’t think that our big businesses need to be regulated, then you haven’t been paying attention. My idea of a free market does not involve allowing big businesses to screw us over!" — American businesses, large or small, have not been operating in a free-market environment for nearly a century, and have endured exponentially increasing regulatory "oversight" since the days of Hoover and FDR. Has that stopped them from, as you wrote, "screwing (you) over", April? No??? It has forced them or induced them to come to government for "guidance and protection", and when needed for handouts financed by? YOU!!! Or do you not pay taxes?! — So now, who is "screwing" whom, over, under, and sideways?!! — Once upon a time, you could have refused to buy their products and they might have failed. Now they have become "too big to fail" and you must pay for a product you don't get at all! — Apparently, you must like being their slave? If so, you might consider working for them, free of charge. Oh, I forgot: you already do!

      "I don’t think that using our great American innovations and technologies to produce energy that will reduce our dependency (sic) on foreign oil will lead us on the road to Socialism." — Only the first three words of that statement are correct! Did you not take the time to listen to the 1961 speech by Ronald Reagan, linked in Katie Brown's post? If you have even one argument to refute any of it, it would have been appropriate to report it here, because the point of this link was to illustrate the method used by certain political forces then, to push their statist/socialist agenda, and to demonstrate how it differs in no way from the same method used by the same forces today, regarding Obamacare, Waxman-Markey, Tarp, Stimulus, almost anything this Congress and this Administration touches or proposes to touch! — Using our innovative technologies may reduce our dependence on foreign resources, no doubt, but our government telling (or attempting to tell) our innovators what, when, where, and how to "innovate" proves that not only have we been on the "road to Socialism" for a considerable time but that, to all intents and purposes, we have arrived! — For your sake, I hope you have some income left for the taxes which will henceforth be levied! — How about simply drilling our own oil? Or, have "they" forgotten we have plenty? Who now, will be "screwing" whom, and to whose benefit?

      Last point: "Time to clean up our own mess…both in our environment and in our foreign politics. I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of our country being an oil whore to foreign powers." — Sounds good but for the fact that we, at least until quite recently the world's premier innovator and its most prosperous nation, have among the cleanest environments of all. To top this record, we can claim that our per capita-use of energy, although the highest, has also resulted in the highest per capita productivity. All, done quite without the currently proposed ruinous new regulations!

      Concerning our foreign policies: granted that they are, for the moment, a mess. This is largely because we have none, certainly none properly addressing the real problems; unless you want to dignify the attempted appeasement of irrational and murderous foreign powers with the label of "policy". How well that works was demonstrated in 1979 by Mr. Carter; just one of the reasons we now have this mess to attend. Or, were you trying to suggest that attempting to deal with criminal regimes by any means other than reason, ice-cold logic, and intransigent determination will improve matters?!

      Welcome to "hope and change" in action! Or, is that "in flagranti"?

    3. Dexter, San Francisc says:


      I understand the feeling of being screwed by (big) business, but also know I can very easily avoid being a source of profit for them by taking my business elsewhere.

      But when it comes to government, where do you go as they screw you? into fantasyland?

      We buy foreign oil because we are not 'allowed' to use our own — is that something 'big business' is doing to us too?

      More significantly, the biggest 'business' in the US is government with 22 million 'workers' — which is about the size of the entire Health Care sector of our economy (with little else in common), as the government refuses to be regulated by the Constitution or the People.

      Fascism is more like the term than Socialism, but the names are only small variations on not being free.

      Governance by pimps and you want to turn everything over to them? why not move to Cuba for a test run.

      Have a nice day.

    4. Bobbie Jay says:

      I'm sorry April, but the guys are right on. Every crisis we're enduring is due to government overhaul and intervention, which amounted to crisis'. the government has no faith in the freedom of people to do for themselves. so government grows, not by the freedom of choice of the people, but by government's will to take over.

      Less government, more freedom and more on your paycheck, if you work. CAPITALISM KEEPS US FREE.

      I'm not a capitalist, nor do I play one on tv.

      Government is conforming a force, not a democracy.

      Watch your government work, April. take things into account. Don't demean capitalism, that's exactly what the government wants you to do. Capitalists use their own money to run their business. Government obligates TAXPAYERS for EVERY SINGLE THING THEY RUN.

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