July 28, 2015
By Ira Stoll
n a YouTube video released over the weekend, the leading Democratic candidate for president, Hillary Clinton, announced that "on day one as president," she would set "two ambitious national goals that will test our capacities." Said Clinton, "First, I will ensure we hit a target of having more than half a billion solar panels installed across the country by the end of my first term." You don’t even have to wait for "ambitious national goal" number two to slap your forehead and roll your eyes at this example of top-down central planning at its worst.
Clinton assumes that man-made climate change is a risk serious enough to try to mitigate, and that America should try to mitigate it by reducing its carbon emissions. These are big "ifs," but ones I will grant for argument’s sake. Even granting those assumptions, there is a humongous logical leap to the conclusion that the appropriate policy response is setting a national target for the number of solar panels installed.
For one thing, it’s a classic error of measuring inputs rather than outputs. If the goal is the reduction of dangerous emissions, why not set a goal for that, and support any energy method—solar, wind, algae, hydroelectric, nuclear, hydrofracturing—that gets America closer to that goal? Why privilege solar over all the other technologies, including some that may not even be invented yet?
Read the full article at Reason.com: Hillary's Solar Scheme Is Central Planning at its Worst