Guest essay by Eric Worrall
According to the Guardian, despite “unease among some unions” about destroyed jobs, Biden’s transformative first week will set the course for America’s future. But nobody has a coherent explanation for how Biden will make it all work.
Dizzying pace of Biden’s climate action sounds death knell for era of denialism
The vision laid out in the actions signed by Biden on Wednesday, however, was transformative. A pathway for oil and gas drilling to be banned from public lands. A third of America’s land and ocean protected. The government ditching the combustion engine from its entire vehicle fleet, offering up a future where battery-powered trucks deliver America’s mail and electric tanks are operated by the US military.Biden signals radical shift from Trump era with executive orders on climate change
Biden may eschew the politically contentious framing of the Green New Deal but there was even an echo of the original New Deal with his plan for a civilian climate corps to restore public lands and waterways. “The whole approach is classic Biden; working-class values, putting people to work,” said Tim Profeta, an environmental policy expert at Duke University.
“It truly is a new day for climate action,” said Carol Browner, former administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency under President Bill Clinton. “President Joe Biden is taking unprecedented actions and sending an unmistakable message to the world that the United States is back and serious about tackling the climate crisis.”
Biden is yanking every possible governmental lever, it seems, to lower emissions but is also cognizant of attacks from Republicans, and unease among some unions, that ditching projects such as the Keystone XL oil pipeline will kill jobs. Battle lines have already formed – Republicans are trying to prevent any halt to drilling, with Greg Abbott, the Texas governor, vowing to “protect the oil and gas industry from any type of hostile attack launched from Washington DC”.
There will probably be bipartisan agreement in certain areas, such as tax breaks for wind and solar and upgrades to ageing infrastructure that is being increasingly battered by floods, storms and wildfires. Chuck Schumer, the Democratic Senate leader, is confident some climate spending can sneak into overall budget bills. Biden could do more unilaterally if he declared a state of emergency over climate, Schumer has suggested. “Trump used this emergency for a stupid wall, which wasn’t an emergency. But if there ever was an emergency, climate is one,” the New York senator said last week.
The Trump years may well have been the death rattle of influential denialism. The American public’s concern over the climate crisis is at record levels, with even a majority of Republican voters supporting government intervention in the wake of a year of unprecedented wildfires and hurricanes that cost hundreds of lives and tens of billions of dollars. The question is now whether the US is able to change quickly enough to avert further disaster, rather than if it will change at all.
…Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/jan/30/joe-biden-climate-change-action
So far Biden’s plan appears to be to kill the fossil fuel industry, which generates massive tax revenues without government help, and replace it with a renewable industry whose representatives always have their hands out for government cash.
What is the plan when Biden burns through the two trillion dollars stimulus, and renewable energy corporatists still want more money? Does anyone seriously believe two trillion will be enough to pump prime the renewable economy? After all, the Obama one trillion dollar green stimulus disappeared without trace, other than a scary increase in the USA’s national debt. Why would Biden’s two trillion dollar stimulus be any different?
One inescapable fact is green energy costs more than fossil fuel. Renewables will always be expensive – the materials input to build and maintain a renewable installation is orders of magnitude greater than an equivalent fossil fuel installation. Another way to look at it, if renewables didn’t cost more, proponents wouldn’t have to keep demanding government handouts.
Somehow that additional cost will have to be borne by ordinary Americans, either through higher taxes, higher costs, a weaker economy, or passing the debt on to the grandkids, through increased government borrowing.
When I say Biden has no plan to make it all work, its the money I’m talking about. Even the USA cannot borrow money indefinitely, to fund the Democrat’s bright green impossibilities – especially after they crash government revenues by wrecking tax paying fossil fuel industries.