On June 24, 2010, I had a post on BigHollywood that examined Robert Redford’s asinine statements about the Gulf Oil Spill. From his support of a drilling moratorium to the fact that he literally blamed the spill on Dick Cheney to the way he expected George W. Bush to respond instantly to Katrina, while making excuses for President Obama’s slow response to the BP disaster, his words were just another proof that many actors in Hollywood are out of touch with reality.
And although I hoped Redford would rethink his pomposity before speaking again on topics that he seems unable to comprehend, except through the prism of politics, it appears my hopes were misplaced. On Tuesday, the Huffington Post carried a statement by Redford wherein the actor lambasted Republicans for sinking Obama’s energy bill and with it “our moment to create two million clean energy jobs here in the United States.”
Where did Redford get such precise information about “two million” jobs? It seems like something that was conveniently snatched out of thin air, unless this number is a reference to jobs that the government would supposedly create in a faux clean energy market. But since when when has the government been successful in creating jobs?
The government cannot create jobs: it can only subsidize public positions with funds taken from taxpayers via confiscatory taxes. And secondly, where’s a clean energy that’s truly dependable (like oil), or that’s profitable enough to sustain it’s own production (like oil), or that has the infrastructure in place to make it readily accessible to the people (like oil)? I hate to break the news to Mr. Redford, but such energies are not there.
The “clean energy” we get from wind turbines, which are currently ruining otherwise picturesque landscapes in the Southwest and on the High Plains, comes at the expense of government subsidizes. This is the same scenario we saw with ethanol: the fuel that was supposed to “end our dependence on foreign oil,” but which instead simply lowered our water tables and cost taxpayers a fortune in subsidizes (all the while using foreign oil as part of the process of making ethanol).
And it was no less than Obama himself who spent the 2008 Presidential campaign promising to use his energy bill to bankrupt the coal industry and cause electricity prices to “necessarily skyrocket.” Moreover, since becoming President he’s gone Redford’s way in the Gulf Oil Spill by placing a job-crushing moratorium on offshore drilling.
How many lost jobs would a bankrupted coal industry represent? And what new pressures would skyrocketing electricity prices put on household budgets that are stretched to the point of breakage around the country right now? And how many jobs have we already lost due to Obama’s drilling moratorium? I suppose these are the kinds of questions that never cross Redford’s mind. But he needs to deal with them because even if his “two million clean energy jobs” really exist, they wouldn’t even be a drop in the bucket compared to the number of jobs that the oil and coal industries provide for Americans every day.
But all of this is lost on Redford, who is can’t quit crying about what he sees as a treachery committed by “Big Oil and Big Coal” – the two industries which he believes “reached deep into their pockets” to guarantee the defeat of the energy bill.
Maybe Big Oil and Big Coal did reach deep into their pockets Mr. Redford, and maybe Republicans can be blamed for blocking the energy bill. (Isn’t it about time for Republicans to do something which actually slows government’s encroachment into our lives?) If so, then the Republicans, along with the oil and coal industries, can be thanked for staving off another attack on what is commonly called “the American way of life.”
Crossposted at Big Hollywood.