July 10, 2013 by Ben Bullard
President Barack Obama knows that the African energy initiatives he announced in a June 30 speech in Cape Town, South Africa, will rely heavily on developing nations named in the ambitious program using coal as a primary supplier for any expansion of the sub-Saharan region’s energy infrastructure.
In fact, with rich coal resources and plans to construct new coal-fired power plants, coal is certain to be the centerpiece of any energy-reliant effort at modernizing Africa. More than 1 billion people live in the region, but they’re presently using about as much energy as Canada’s sparse population of 34 million.
But Obama’s vilification of coal in his Georgetown University speech last month is wholly absent from the $7 billion U.S.-backed plan he’s crafted for Africa. He knows Africa will develop with Evil, Polluting, Regressive Coal. There is no economic incentive for Africa to buy “green” energy from the Solyndras of the world. Come to think of it, there’s no incentive in the U.S., either.
No matter how idealistic the President may be about curbing greenhouse gases; no matter how condescending toward those who wonder whether mankind understands the Earth’s age-old atmospheric mysteries as well as he, Obama knows that no amount of coal-killing regulation in the U.S. is going to make one whit of difference in altering the net effect of burning coal to generate electricity worldwide.
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