Clinton’s policies will be costly

Too many Americans do not seem to be making an important connection between themselves and policies enforced by President Barack Obama and espoused by presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

Many may understand, as Donald Trump, Clinton’s opponent, put it, that Clinton is waging “war on energy.” But they do not seem to realize that when Clinton talks about putting coal miners out of work, she also is vowing to force electricity prices up. When she backs Obama’s action to block construction of the Keystone XL pipeline and others, Clinton is not just denying jobs to construction workers, but also is increasing U.S. reliance on oil imported from the Middle East. And when she says she will increase federal oversight of the drilling industry, she will make natural gas much more expensive.

Last week in Pittsburgh, Trump suggested that Clinton’s energy agenda “will cost our economy $5 trillion, at least.” In the long run, that may be an understatement.

But as so many voters do not seem to understand how the $19 trillion national debt relates to them, a troubling number just don’t get it regarding energy, either.

A recent public opinion poll asked Americans whether they would support government action against climate change if it takes money out of their pockets. The poll was conducted by The Associated Press and the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago.

Of those questioned, 57 percent said they would support more action against climate change if it costs them $1 a month. Thirty-nine percent said yes if the cost was $10 a month. Fewer than one-third want more action if the cost to them is $20 a month.

For many families, the cost of government limits on using coal to generate electricity already has topped $20 a month. Many utilities already have shut down economical coal-fired power plants in favor of newer units fueled by natural gas. In some states, power companies are being forced to buy electricity generated at solar or wind farms – at much higher rates.

In all likelihood, pursuance of Obama’s war on affordable energy will cost tens of millions of families $1,000 a year or more in higher utility bills. And Clinton thinks Obama has not gone far enough.

For many of those affected, the point of no return already has been passed. Coal-fired generating stations have been scrapped.

Unless voters reject soothing assurances such as those Clinton voices, it will be too late for most of us.