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Bruce Bialosky

Biden Plan for Climate Crisis

The Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force provides recommendations in six areas of domestic policy which are a roadmap for what Biden and his team want to accomplish if he is elected president. Despite little discussion about public policy at their convention, this is a detailed plan for domestic policy. Today we will look at their plans for the environment entitled Combating the Climate Crisis and Pursuing Environmental Justice

There are two parts of the plan, a 6-page narrative of what they want to do and then a 14-page description of their policy recommendations. This proposal contains very few new proposals not already released in the Green New Deal. That may be because Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez co-chairs this Task Force with former Secretary of State John Kerry. If there is any doubt Joe Biden supports these proposals, his Deputy Director for Policy, Kerry Duggan, is a member of the Task Force. These proposals mirror the Green New Deal which is endorsed on Biden ‘s website. Note: there is no statement of how much any of these proposals would cost nor how they would be funded. In this case the number of $2 trillion has been offered by supporters.

Here are some points of what they wish to accomplish:

1. This is the most important issue to the entire Task Force. The first statement is “Climate change is a global emergency.” They actually use the phrase “The fierce urgency of now.” This clearly defines the focus of this campaign.

2. They use the word “investment” so many times that you lose count reading the document. The interesting thing is it is written by people who have only used OPM (other people’s money). That provides you with the drafters’ frame of mind.

3. “The impacts of climate change are not evenly distributed in our society or our economy. Communities of color, low-income families have long suffered disproportionate and cumulative harm from air pollution, water pollution and toxic sites.” First this shows their inordinate focus on race. Everything is about race. Second, even if you accept their supposition, the question is do you want these people handling this issue after their long-term epic failures in the areas of housing and education for these groups?

4. They state they will rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement on Day One. This ignores that the signatories to the accord have not met the goals of the accord. It ignores that the U.S. has reduced CO2 emissions while members of the accord have typically increased their emissions. It ignores that China and India are not signatories and cause the most environmental problems. It ignores that rejoining would cause the U.S. to pay billions of dollars to “developing economies” for an untold period to help abate pollution in those countries with no control over results.

5. “All jobs in the clean energy economy should provide an opportunity to join a union.” This reinforces their belief that the only good job is a union job despite only 6% of private industry workers being union members. Also, in the current energy industry (which they wish to dismantle), workers make very good wages.

6. “Democrats will make investments to create millions of family supporting and union jobs in energy generation, transportation, advanced manufacturing and sustainable agriculture.” Other than their lofty statement of millions of jobs being created by a Task Force that does not have one person on it who ever created a job, they don’t address all the jobs they will destroy in doing this by eliminating multiple sources of energy production. This may be the most significant statement of the entire Task Force. It speaks to how their plans to handle “Climate Change” expands government control over entire new areas of the economy.

7. “We will increase investments in public transportation, understanding the United States lags behind many other developed countries in the quality and availability of clean, efficient accessible public transportation.” This does not recognize that current systems have flagging ridership and that is before COVID made people even more leery of using public transportation. It does not recognize these projects typically run significantly over cost projections. It also does not recognize the immense failure of the bullet train project in California that ballooned to over $100 billion.

8. As part of their environment plan, they are going to start telling farmers and ranchers how to do their jobs. They want to tinker with the most efficient food production system in the world because they say if they operate net-zero emissions it will be “a new source of income for farmers.” Needless to say the Task Force was made up of city folk who never milked a cow. God forbid these people get their hands on our food sources; we could starve.

9. They make an excellent proposal to get lead out of drinking water. The one question is: why have they not tried to do that before? That is something that has no lobby against it. Maybe they should engage Speaker Pelosi.

Then there are the proposals that stand out for special discussion:

This plan has been priced out by supporters at $2 trillion. That is because they are planning on installing 500 million solar panels and 60,000 wind turbines, many along the coasts. They talk about the wind turbines being produced in America, but do not make the same reference on the 500 million solar panels. This means of energy production will be replacing the current energy sources (except for hydro) but including environmentally clean nuclear. One would think they would mention all the batteries that must be produced to store the energy produced. As has been seen in California there is plenty of capacity, but wind is erratic and solar shuts down after 6 P.M. The largest battery operation in California currently stores enough power for 26,000 households in a state that has 13,000,000.

They want to create a program to create batteries that would hold this capacity. They plan to create grid-scale storage at one-tenth the cost of lithium-ion batteries. The problem is there is absolutely zero science to even replace the current batteries, let alone have them at one-tenth the cost. And they want this in 20 years. Watch Mark Mills address these topics here.

In addition, they want to replace or update 500,000 school buses with zero-emissions in five years. They also want to replace 3 million government owned vehicles with zero-emission vehicles.

They want to plant — 16 billion trees. They would be native and non-invasive trees – whatever those are. Someone should inform them that because of reclaiming of lands from farmers due to the efficiency of our farmers, we have more trees in America today than 400 years ago. Where are they putting these 16 billion trees?

Last, they want to retrofit four million buildings and two million homes – within five years. They want to do that with private industry funding which is a dream because there is insufficient return on investment for that to interest anyone. Because none of them have private industry or construction industry experience, they do not understand even if they had adequate funding sources there is not enough qualified personnel to do this in a 20-year period.

You can’t fault them for lack of ambition. Their goals are outrageously expensive, sometimes totally unrealistic and lack the science to be able to accomplish those goals. But when you believe we are experiencing an emergency then everything is on the table. Or maybe not.

We will be back to let you know what else the Biden team wants to do so you can make an educated decision for whom to vote on November 3rd.