Democratic contenders would ban fossil fuels?

Americans are renowned worldwide for their ingenuity and resourcefulness. When we encounter challenges, we find ways to overcome them.

That makes proposals by several Democratic candidates for president quite puzzling. Where, pray tell, is the can-do American spirit?

Five of the candidates — Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg and Julian Castro — this week released proposals for dealing with climate change. All five call for drastic reductions or outright elimination of fossil fuels.

Of course, there are hefty price tags, ranging up to the $10 trillion Castro wants to spend during an unspecified period of time.

And where would the money come from? Partly from penalties paid by users of fossil fuels, such as the tens of millions of Americans who rely on electricity from coal-fired power plants. No doubt motorists would be prodded toward electric vehicles by incentives for their purchase — covered by penalties paid for using gasoline or diesel cars and trucks.

With the exception of Buttigieg, none of the candidates has room for coal, oil and natural gas. They want fossil fuels gone, and the sooner, the better. Never mind the enormous cost to consumers in higher utility and transportation costs. Never mind the gigantic disadvantage their plans would be to the U.S. economy.

Instead, we ought to be putting that good-old American know-how to work finding ways to benefit from fossil fuels without harming the environment. Failure to at least try that is, in effect, throwing up our hands and surrendering. That is contrary to our character as a people.