Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Democrat Presidential Primary candidate Beto O’Rourke is hoping you’ll find the $5 Trillion cost of his green new deal lite more palatable than the $93 trillion cost of the full Green New Deal.
O’Rourke plans to invest $5 trillion over 10 years in infrastructure and innovation and also sets a goal to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, according to an outline of O’Rourke’s proposal which his campaign put out ahead of a tour of Yosemite National Park on Monday.
The former Texas Democratic congressman’s plan called climate change “the greatest threat we face” and outlined a four-part framework to address this “existential threat” and “growing emergency.”
If elected president in 2020, O’Rourke’s “very first bill he sends to Congress … will mobilize $5 trillion over 10 years — spurred by the single largest investment to fight climate change in history — to transform our aging infrastructure, accelerate innovation, and empower our people and communities to lead the climate fight,” according to his plan.
According to his proposal, O’Rourke’s $5 trillion mobilization would be “directly leveraged by a fully paid-for $1.5 trillion investment,” and the bill he would introduce to Congress would be funded by “changes to the tax code to ensure corporations and the wealthiest among us pay their fair share and that we finally end the tens of billions of dollars of tax breaks currently given to fossil fuel companies.”
O’Rourke’s climate change plan would “set a first-ever, net-zero emissions by 2030 carbon budget for federal lands, stopping new fossil fuel leases, changing royalties to reflect climate costs, and accelerating renewables development and forestation.”
…Read more: https://edition.cnn.com/2019/04/29/politics/beto-orourke-climate-change-policy/index.html
From Beto’s website;
Start Cutting Pollution on Day One and Taking Executive Actions to Lead on Climate
Beto’s four-part framework starts with a forceful day-one agenda because he knows that delay is tantamount to denial — to misunderstanding the severity and scale of this growing crisis. We will cut pollution on day one, improving the quality of our air, our water, and our public health right away. At the same time, we will create jobs, support communities, and strengthen our economy — not just to compete, but to lead the world in addressing this crisis.
As President, Beto will use his executive authority not only to reverse the problematic decisions made by the current administration, but also to go beyond the climate actions under previous presidents:
- Re-enter the Paris Agreement and lead the negotiations for an even more ambitious global plan for 2030 and beyond;
- Reduce methane leakage from existing sources in the oil and natural gas industry for the first time and rapidly phase-out hydrofluorocarbons, the super-polluting greenhouse gas that is up to 9,000 times worse for climate change than carbon dioxide;
- Strengthen the clean air and hazardous waste limits for power plants and fuel economy standards that save consumers money and improve public health, while setting a trajectory to rapidly accelerate the adoption of zero-emission vehicles;
- Increase consumer savings through new, modernized, and ambitious appliance- and building-efficiency standards;
- Create unprecedented access to the technologies and markets that allow farmers and ranchers to profit from the reductions in greenhouse gas emissions they secure;
- Leverage $500 billion in annual government procurement to decarbonize across all sectors for the first time, including a new “buy clean” program for steel, glass, and cement;
- Require any federal permitting decision to fully account for climate costs and community impacts;
- Set a first-ever, net-zero emissions by 2030 carbon budget for federal lands, stopping new fossil fuel leases, changing royalties to reflect climate costs, and accelerating renewables development and forestation; and
- Protect our most wild, beautiful, and biodiverse places for generations to come — including more of the Arctic and of our sensitive landscapes and seascapes than ever before — and establish National Parks and Monuments that more fully tell our American story.
Read more: https://betoorourke.com/climate-change/
One question Beto – if you end tax breaks for fossil fuel companies and hike up royalty and compliance costs, won’t they simply pass the additional costs straight on to consumers, causing an economically damaging spike in consumer fuel and energy bills?
It is all very well investing in innovation, but maybe you should hold off pushing up the price of fossil fuel, until that innovation investment yields a viable and affordable alternative.