The man who wants to be the next US president says “America is the Saudi Arabia of coal, and we are going to develop our industry.”
That was the jaw-dropping promise offered by Texas Senator Ted Cruz at a convention in Wyoming. (Please note, he didn’t hold up as an example the cheap solar power offered in Austin, Texas).
He is, admittedly a politician, and was, of course speaking in America’s largest coal-producing state. But Mr Cruz’s complete and utter refusal to give up on fossil fuels speaks volumes.
Some American politicians cling to dangerously regressive positions even as China, the world’s biggest polluter, steps up its attempt to harness solar power. (Last year, China overtook Germany in terms of solar PV capacity).
Meanwhile, Mr Cruz was promising to “end the war on coal”, adding that it was driven by “an ideological extremism on the part of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and today’s modern Democratic Party”.
Can you imagine that he actually promised to reverse the Obama administration’srecently imposed a moratorium on new coal leases and thumb his nose at US Environmental Protection Agency regulations that tighten emission limits on coal-fired power plants?
He didn’t want to consider clean energy as the need of the future.
He didn’t care about the air we breathe and the overall health of the planet.
He seemed contemptuous about any notion that America needs to lead by example.
He was happy with his comparison – America is the Saudi Arabia of coal – but never enlarged on the waning prospects for oil producers.
A better aspiration for America: the China of solar power?