Rice University Prof: Biden’s $433 Billion Incentives for Clean Energy aren’t Enough

Essay by Eric Worrall

Does anyone even pretend anymore that Biden’s “Inflation Reduction Act” has anything to do with inflation?

Big new incentives for clean energy aren’t enough – the Inflation Reduction Act was just the first step, now the hard work begins

Published: August 19, 2022 5.31pm AEST
Daniel Cohan
Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Rice University

The new Inflation Reduction Act is stuffed with subsidies for everything from electric vehicles to heat pumps, and incentives for just about every form of clean energy. But pouring money into technology is just one step toward solving the climate change problem.

Wind and solar farms won’t be built without enough power lines to connect their electricity to customers. Captured carbon and clean hydrogen won’t get far without pipelines. Too few contractors are trained to install heat pumps. And EV buyers will think twice if there aren’t enough charging stations.

In my new book about climate solutions, I discuss these and other obstacles standing in the way of a clean energy transition. Surmounting them is the next step as the country figures out how to turn the goals of the most ambitious climate legislation Congress has ever passed into reality.

For infrastructure, tax credits for electric cars will do little good without enough publicly available chargers. The U.S. has around 145,000 gas stations, but only about 6,500 fast-charging stations that can power up a battery quickly for a driver on the go.

Over 1,300 gigawatts of wind, solar and battery projects – several times the existing capacity – are already waiting to be built, but they’ve been delayed for years by a lack of grid connections and backlogged approval processes by regional grid operators.

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act passed by Congress last year provides some funding for chargers, power lines and pipelines, but nowhere near enough. For example, it sets aside only a few billion dollars for high-voltage power lines, a tiny share of the hundreds of billions of dollars needed to chart a path toward net-zero emissions. Its $7.5 billion for chargers is just a third of what electric car advocates project will be needed.

Read more: https://theconversation.com/big-new-incentives-for-clean-energy-arent-enough-the-inflation-reduction-act-was-just-the-first-step-now-the-hard-work-begins-188693

$21 billion for electric chargers (3 x $7.5 billion) + whatever the maintenance costs, hundreds of billions of dollars for high voltage power lines and other ancillaries in addition to the $433 billion Biden has already allocated in his “inflation reduction act”.

I doubt a mere trillion dollars would be the final green demand for money. These costs will be passed on to consumers, either via taxes or direct charges.

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August 21, 2022 10:25 pm

but they’ve been delayed for years by a lack of grid connections and backlogged approval processes by regional grid operators.

Despicable grid operators just delaying the green nirvana OR reducing the risk of blackouts – I wonder.

Australian consumers are paying for 8 different stability services and there are other payments for market directions, demand management and emergency back-up as well as some for a battery subsidy coming and huge increase in transmission costs to pay for all the new lines. NONE of these were planned before the intermittency problems started to show up. They are NEVER factored into the cost of intermittent generators.

There are so many clueless idiots now involved in setting grid power policy that it is a thorough mess. Basically the UN is dictating what hangs off an electricity grid without any understanding of how a grid works.

Reply to  RickWill
August 22, 2022 2:32 am

The UN isn’t dictating anything about how countries manage their electric grids

Reply to  griff
August 22, 2022 4:13 am

World leaders pledge to power humanity with clean energy”‘Make these commitments a reality’, says deputy UN chief

Reply to  griff
August 22, 2022 11:59 am

Put your foot in the mouth again, haven’t you?

Andy Pattullo
Reply to  griff
August 22, 2022 2:16 pm

Not true at all. The UN is collaborating in policy with world bank, EU and international development funds to thwart investment in reliable and affordable traditional electrical generation in developing countries.

August 21, 2022 10:42 pm

It’s good on one hand to finally see activists lay out the staggering costs of nirvana. Now we’ll see how folks react to the immense destruction of their standard of living.

Reply to  Terry
August 22, 2022 4:33 am

People tend to struggle when cause and effect are not closely associated. A cause occurs, long pause, the effect results, and people will argue for eons about what really went down.

August 21, 2022 10:53 pm

“Does anyone even pretend anymore that Biden’s “Inflation Reduction Act” has anything to do with inflation?”

What a bunch of elitists ! This is all about building a utopia. If a few people get hurt on the way, oh well. If a lot of people get hurt, too bad.

John Garrett
Reply to  lynn
August 22, 2022 8:23 am

If “Truth In Labeling” laws applied to politics, this piece of crap legislation would be called the:

Inflation Creation Act.

August 21, 2022 11:00 pm

$443 billion would buy a lot of nuclear plants

Reply to  H B
August 22, 2022 2:32 am

It would buy 14 at the currently projected £20 billion cost of Sizewell C new UK reactor.

Though there’s no chance it would come in on cost or time…

Ron Long
Reply to  griff
August 22, 2022 2:41 am

“…there’s no chance it would come in on cost or time…”, griff, that’s because there is a continuous, no even overlapping, attack on the whole process by Greenies who claim to be defending Mother Earth, but in Reality are gaining fame from their peers for dysfunctional conduct. Try constructing a Critical Path Analysis for a new nuclear plant and see what the delays and legal costs add up to.

Reply to  Ron Long
August 22, 2022 3:22 am

You could probably have a Mr. Fusion in your garage for $299 + shipping if it weren’t for the regulatory hoops and legal delays. They drive up the final cost to around $27 billion or so.

Shanghai Dan
Reply to  griff
August 22, 2022 7:41 am

It is 100% predictable when it would come on line, and what it would generate, reliably.

Wind/solar? Not so much…

Reply to  griff
August 22, 2022 10:52 am

You’re making a big mistake in assuming $443 billion actually buys something in units of tangible results. In the U.S., much of this will be consumed by the bureaucracy, waste, fraud, and program abuse. The EV incentives are flawed, the home energy upgrades assume bad bets by households in buying inferior electric versions of appliances amid rising electric rates, and nonprofits will be encouraged to enrich friends with tax credit black markets by more than they do now. This is all in a political system that gleefully piles more benefit expansion onto programs with the highest rate of tax fraud (refundable earned income tax credits). Wanna buy a used EV?

Reply to  ResourceGuy
August 22, 2022 1:08 pm
Reply to  H B
August 22, 2022 5:53 am

There is only about $30 billion in spending. The rest is unpredictable tax credits so these huge numbers are pure green fantasy.

Reply to  David Wojick
August 22, 2022 9:57 am

I have a series of articles coming on the various tax credit and rebate schemes in this law. Each can easily fail because they are trying to use them to do social engineering that has nothing to do with energy.

Reply to  David Wojick
August 22, 2022 10:09 am

It will be fun finding domestically made batteries of lithium and cobalt that was mined in the United States to get your tax credit.

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  H B
August 22, 2022 11:32 am

The issue of cost of nuclear power plants is really secondary.

It now takes about 20 years (estimates vary greatly) to get the necessary environmental permits and to work through all the inevitable lawsuits for any single planned nuclear plant.

That exceeds the typical political lifetime for any member of Congress that might be an advocate for such.

Steve Richards
August 21, 2022 11:06 pm

Odd that when someone comes up with a brilliant idea such as electric cars, subsidies are needed to help buy them and lots of taxpayers money is needed to install chargers!

If these things were so good, so wanted, why do they need subsidies?

Richard Page
Reply to  Steve Richards
August 22, 2022 2:24 am

It’s interesting that the biggest Green growth industry is in books about how to run the world the way they think it should be run, kind of an endless variation on a theme of ‘Das Kapital’. Under no circumstances should these people ever be allowed near to a position of power or influence.

Reply to  Steve Richards
August 22, 2022 2:29 am

Why? to kickstart the change of technology.

After a while subsidy not needed. Germany cut its green levy entirely this year.

Ron Long
Reply to  griff
August 22, 2022 2:45 am

griff, when the subsidies stop the green nonsense projects stop because they are not stand-alone profitable. The cut in subsidy you mention is to allow Germans enough money to buy candles and firewood (see lynn below). Brave New World or clueless idiots running amok?

Michael in Dublin
Reply to  Ron Long
August 22, 2022 3:42 am

I have been unable to check the source but I heard that Greens in Finland and Germany are looking with new eyes at nuclear.

Reply to  Michael in Dublin
August 22, 2022 4:10 am

So even the greens foresee shivering in the dark and realizing, “Uh oh. We screwed the pooch.”

They’ll never admit that, though. There will be a sudden discovery that nuclear doesn’t produce CO2. Hurrah! Why didn’t anyone tell them? 🙄

John Garrett
Reply to  griff
August 22, 2022 3:44 am

LOL. You mean the Germany where the lights are about to go out?

You mean the Germany where the population is at risk of freezing to death this winter?

You mean the Germany where electricity and natural gas costs 6-7× what it does in the U.S.?

That Germany?

Reply to  griff
August 22, 2022 7:47 am

No other industry needed government kick starting.

Reply to  MarkW
August 22, 2022 8:29 am

But this one is to save humanity…

+ if you believe, -if you don’t

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  DMacKenzie
August 25, 2022 2:50 am

Closer to this one is to destroy humanity…

Smart Rock
Reply to  MarkW
August 22, 2022 11:36 am

You’re obviously too young to remember the massive subsidies paid to automobile makers, and the tax credits given to car buyers so they would give up their horses. You also won’t remember the scandals around the slush funds set up by the far-right troglodytes who ran the horse industry, to support so-called skeptical studies that purported to show how the 97 percent consensus of catastrophic anthropogenic horse-sh!t accumulation was based on flawed models. Can you believe that those merchants of doubt actually tried to prove that horses were cheaper and more reliable than cars?

In the end, the subsidies and tax credits did their job. The planet was saved! I mean, when did you last see deliveries being made from a horse and cart?

James Schrumpf
Reply to  Smart Rock
August 22, 2022 11:58 am

Don’t forget the billions in subsidies to build gas stations across America.

Michael Underwood
Reply to  Smart Rock
August 22, 2022 3:48 pm

Don’t worry. The horse and cart are coming back.

Reply to  Michael Underwood
August 23, 2022 4:57 am

Tried and true technology will win out in the end, eh Michael?

Waterwheels and horses and windmills. Why oh why were we foolish enough to ever give them up?

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Michael Underwood
August 25, 2022 2:51 am

Yes, if the Donkey Pox continues to spread…

Reply to  MarkW
August 22, 2022 1:33 pm

You want to do a bit of reading about the support the oil industry has received from the US government over the years. Everyone here seems to forget that. This is a summary of the state of play at the moment

But if you go back in time the oil industry has received its fair share of government welfare. Funny how that was all ok with the team here, but green subsidies are the devil.

Richard Page
Reply to  Simon
August 22, 2022 5:31 pm

Oh yes, that old chestnut again, ‘subsidies’ that are actually nothing of the kind, just a goalpost-moving exercise to justify the bottomless pit that is the ‘renewable energy’ scam.

Reply to  Richard Page
August 22, 2022 5:56 pm

Well, please explain how the government financial support to the oil industry was/is not relevant to the incentives green energy is now getting?

Reply to  Simon
August 22, 2022 11:33 pm

You dodged the key point most of what greentards call subsidies are not they are the same tax concessions given to every company INCLUDING green energy companies.

Couple of you links above have greentards who fall into that hole they are activists running stupid arguments.

You need to be clear about what actual subsidies and incentives because there is just lots of handwaving on this issue by greentards.

Reply to  LdB
August 22, 2022 11:37 pm

You seem to have a problem with name calling. How boring of you.

Reply to  Simon
August 22, 2022 11:46 pm

That Brookings reserach is some of the dam funniest stuff I have read in a while. Some of the biggest supposed subsidies are by 3rd world countries … so 3rd world countries aren’t trying to keep energy cost low for their poor they are supporting Fossil Fuel.

Only a greentard would run that as an argument 🙂

Reply to  LdB
August 23, 2022 12:07 am

So, do you think it ok for the oil companies to get government financial support, and if so, why is it not OK for the government to support cleaner energy? It’s a simple concept. Either they are, or are not ok.

Reply to  griff
August 22, 2022 10:02 am

to kickstart the change of technology.

fyi Giff, the first horseless carriages (automobiles) were battery-powered.

The technology is well tried, understood and developed.

They called the first battery powered autos “town cars” because their range was decidedly limited (to town centres obviously).

Then when Mr. Diesel developed an internal combustion engine, all autos switched from battery power to ICEs, for far superior mobility and range.

Sound familiar Griff?

(You should try history instead of hysterics sometime, Griff. It really is informative, and often helps one from making a goose of oneself).

James Schrumpf
Reply to  griff
August 22, 2022 11:57 am

What was the subsidy on the Model T Ford?

Reply to  James Schrumpf
August 22, 2022 6:55 pm


Reply to  Steve Richards
August 22, 2022 10:15 am

They need tax subsidies to compete with more cost efficient ideas. It’s always about the money. There is no other reason. People did not stop using horse drawn wagons because of a shortage of horses or a tax subsidy on diesel trucks.

Reply to  Steve Richards
August 22, 2022 10:53 am

….and for so long, considering the 10 year program just passed into law.

August 21, 2022 11:13 pm

Earlier, Werner Luginbuhl, the head of Switzerland’s electricity regulator ElCom, complained that electricity was being used “completely thoughtlessly,” and urged citizens to stock up on candles and firewood due to possible power outages in the country this winter.”

My friend said “Western civilization was nice while it lasted.”.

Richard Page
Reply to  lynn
August 22, 2022 2:29 am

“The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.” Sir Edward Grey, 3rd August 1914.

Reply to  lynn
August 22, 2022 6:59 am

Earlier, Werner Luginbuhl, the head of Switzerland’s electricity regulator ElCom, complained that electricity was being used generated “completely thoughtlessly,” and urged citizens to stock up on candles and firewood due to possible power outages in the country this winter.”

Fixed it.

oeman 50
Reply to  lynn
August 22, 2022 8:33 am

What did Germans use for light before candles? Electricity.

August 21, 2022 11:25 pm

Does anyone even pretend anymore that Biden’s “Inflation Reduction Act” has anything to do with inflation?


You’re completely wrong on this one. This has everything to do with inflation reduction.

Inflation is the amount of money in the pockets of the elite, whilst reduction is the amount of money in the pockets of the sheeple.

In other news, the UK People could be paid for not using electric appliances during peak hours

A strained supply of energy could put pressure on the National Grid. While the government has suggested rolling blackouts are unlikely, reducing usage at peak times will make outages less likely.

Nothing to do with unreliables of course, it’s all about saving money.

Reply to  Redge
August 21, 2022 11:29 pm

Nothing to do with importing 8 million more people while reducing despatcheable power…

Reply to  Chaswarnertoo
August 21, 2022 11:34 pm

I think it’s more to do with successive incompetent governments over the last 40 years kowtowing to the green blob

Reply to  Redge
August 22, 2022 10:23 am

You cannot spend your way out of inflation. The entire premise is ridiculous. Note that the bill raises taxes and also hires thousands of armed IRS agents. There is the real reason it passed but Americans are too stupid to notice that.

James Schrumpf
Reply to  Doonman
August 22, 2022 12:01 pm

Au contraire, mon frere! Americans have noticed these things mightily, but our betters are telling us that we’re seeing conspiracy theories everywhere and to move along, now, nothing to see here.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  James Schrumpf
August 25, 2022 3:28 am

Well, the A.ericans voting Donkey Pox are too stupid to see it, because they have blinders on based on other “pet” causes.

August 22, 2022 1:36 am

$433 billion sounds a lot, but it is spread over ten years, and equates to just 0.2% of GDP

In UK terms, that’s a couple of billion a year. We are already subsidising renewables to the tume of at least £15bn a year, and have barely started on Net Zero

Reply to  Paul Homewood
August 22, 2022 2:28 am

And of course new renewables are increasingly coming in without needing subsidy.

compare that with the likely cost of the new Sizewell reactor Boris is alleged to have just signed off on…

Reply to  griff
August 22, 2022 4:27 am

No subsidy means totally free market. No compulsory purchases, if they need backup to provide a competitive product, they install it. If they need massive transmission to get it where its needed, they install that too. No pay for switch off when they are over generating.

There is nowhere in the world, at least not in an industrialized modern economy, where wind and solar can compete on that basis.

And you can see it if you look at cases, of which the UK is the most accessible and best documented.

In the UK at the moment renewables are costing about 2,000 a year – as the latest Net Zero Watch analysis shows.


Do you have any idea what 2,000 a year means to the average UK family? There are going to be people, particularly the old and poor, dying this winter while the country spends, on this analysis, something like 59 billion a year on what the green activists claim is saving the planet but which in fact can, as a matter of arithmetic, have no effect whatever on global temperatures.

Then you mention Sizewell, as if that in some way made wind and solar more competitive. It may be that Sizewell is ridiculously expensive. But there are two things to say about it. One is that at least it produces usable power. You don’t need to back it up with a huge gas powered installation, or more batteries than there are planetary minerals to build. Put in all the costs of wind and solar to get the product comparable, and you will find its more expensive even than Sizewell.

The second thing is, if you think Sizewll is not the answer, that does not make wind and coal viable. They are just as useless regardless of Sizewell’s costs.

If Sizewll is not the answer, the answer is super critical coal. its not wind or solar. If you are trying to supply a modern industrial economy with electricity, wind and solar are not the solution or even part of the solution.

Influenced by the mania of the green lobby, successive UK governments of both parties have gone down the road of raising the demand for electricity while reducing the supply of it by closing down reliable generation and moving to intermittent. The concealed effect of this has been to increase reliance on gas generation.

The UK, like Germany, is going to pay the first installment of the price of this in the coming winter. Its going to be ugly.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  michel
August 25, 2022 3:35 am

Think you meant “that does not make wind and SOLAR viable…”

Reply to  griff
August 22, 2022 7:51 am

Once again, little griff pretends that only direct subsidies, are subsidies.
It may be true that the politicians may be talking about allowing a few of the direct subsidies to expire, but the biggest subsidy, the fact that utilities are required to buy all the output of these boondoggles, at a fixed, above market price, whether it is needed or not, is not being removed.

Reply to  griff
August 22, 2022 10:25 am

Nonsense. They are outlawing internal combustion engines. The best subsidy ever invented is outlawing your competition.

spangled drongo
August 22, 2022 2:11 am

Not all bad, by the look of it:

“When President Joe Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law on Aug. 16, his signature opened the door to reinstating the largest oil and gas lease sale in U.S. history, which had been blocked by a court because of climate impact concerns.

“The Inflation Reduction Act includes provisions that direct spending, tax credits, and loans to bolster technologies such as solar panels and equipment to cut pollution at coal- and gas-powered power plants.”


Richard Page
Reply to  spangled drongo
August 22, 2022 2:33 am

Does not include the provision of permits to drill – this changes nothing whilst giving the impression of clearing away the obstacles for the oil and gas industry. They will, once again, blame oil and gas producers for profiteering whilst blocking all attempts to increase supply.

Reply to  Richard Page
August 22, 2022 10:09 am

Too true Richard.

The opening up of leases is just Biden’s coded message to activists –

“unleash the environmental lawfare dogs!”

Michael in Dublin
August 22, 2022 3:39 am

It says it all when you have to go to The Conversation to get your views published.

August 22, 2022 3:55 am

The best source for understanding what costs the attempt to get to Net Zero is imposing is the Net Zero Watch group in the UK. They are really doing an excellent job of documenting it, and the UK is the canary in the coal mine.

They have just published a report itemizing the costs so far. This is nothing compared to what its going to cost when it really gets underway.


This 2,000 per year per household is before we get to the really serious costs of the madness – rebuilding the transmission network at great expense, installing huge amounts of subsidized wind… and so on.

Also read Paul Homewood’s account of the latest National Grid plans:


This is 54 billion which never shows up in any of the claims that renewables are now cheaper than gas or coal.

And this excellent piece shows how much the Grid is proposing to overbuild in order to try and get to Net Zero


It also shows the extent to which these plans are based on wishful thinking.

The thing is impossible to do and it will not happen. Net Zero will not be delivered. The 15-20,000 offshore wind turbines it requires will not get installed. Neither will the backup to make them usable. People will not buy heat pumps in the required numbers, nor will they buy electric cars on the scale required to keep the social economy going in its present form. They will not be able to afford them. And if they do, there will not be enough electric power to run them.

As it becomes clear that the UK is crippling its economy and that people are being made cold and hungry without doing anything one way or the other about the climate, we will see a political landslide which will remove the party in power at the time, presiding over this insanity, for generations.

The new UK Prime Minister has about three months to get a grip on this. Because in January and February they are looking at a real disaster in the UK.

Homewood has an excellent analysis of what needs to be done immediately.


Let’s hope, but the delusion and hysteria about this is so strong and so widespread that I am not at all hopeful.

Simon Derricutt
Reply to  michel
August 22, 2022 8:23 am

Michel – OK, the current UK government will probably get voted out when the winter disaster bites and many people die from cold, but it looks like the other parties are at least as keen on Net Zero and just as unaware that it cannot be done, and that even if it could be done it would make no difference to the world climate.

UK politicians believe that a fairy dies every time they say “I don’t believe this Green New Deal will work”, and so no-one is saying it even if they think that.

Reply to  Simon Derricutt
August 22, 2022 3:43 pm

… it looks like the other parties are at least as keen on Net Zero and just as unaware that it cannot be done…

Yes, agreed, its a weird mass delusion among the UK political and media classes. Inexplicable.

Richard Page
Reply to  michel
August 22, 2022 10:38 am

Kwasi Kwarteng’s been in the news recently to try to do his bit. He’s talking to renewable companies to get them to reduce prices and to sign 15 year contracts limiting their price which is too little and, possibly, too late. I think he means well but I also don’t think he really understands what he’s doing; in his own head, he probably thinks of himself as a superhero.

Reply to  Richard Page
August 22, 2022 3:44 pm

Yes, the remarks about Drax and biofuels were encouraging. But really, they need to abandon the whole crazy idea of Net Zero, and its doubtful they will let themselves go that far.;

August 22, 2022 4:00 am

Any allocated billions for a brainstorming session on cooling the Arctic specifically?
What could we do to cool the Arctic, specifically? (theconversation.com)
Or does this urgent needs stuff fall under the auspices of general dooming amelioration expenditure?

Tom in Florida
August 22, 2022 4:37 am

This is not on Biden, he is but a mindless puppet. This is on the tax and spend Democrats who amazingly stopped calling it the Inflation Reduction Act as soon as it was signed into law.

August 22, 2022 4:53 am

“I doubt a mere trillion dollars would be the final green demand for money. These costs will be passed on to consumers, either via taxes or direct charges.”


It is rare for people have the consequences of their vote brought home to them. Maybe this time it will sting enough they’ll learn to stop voting for more Free Stuff.

(Hahahahahaha! Who am I kidding?!)

Reply to  Quelgeek
August 22, 2022 9:48 am

“These costs will be passed on to consumers, either via taxes or and direct charges.”

Fixed that everyone’s edification.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Brad-DXT
August 25, 2022 3:43 am

Gotta cross out “either” too…

Reply to  AGW is Not Science
August 25, 2022 7:39 am


AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Quelgeek
August 25, 2022 3:43 am

Problem is, the people voting for this shit are too deluded to make the connection; they’ll simply believe it when the “media” keeps telling them that the cost increases are all about “fossil fuel company profiteering.”

Peta of Newark
August 22, 2022 5:57 am

Daniel, what kind of place is ‘Rice University’?
Or, which school did you go to?
Or, did your parents teach you nothing?

Daniel, which planet are you on?

Because what Biden is doing here is handing out Free Money
Why the grilling at the start is because, Dear Daniel, one of the most significant things that anyone who has made it as far as ‘University’ should know is that:

Free Money does nothing but create a demand for More Free Money
IOW: The problem it was meant to fix only ever gets bigger and worse

Daniel, you are either naive, incompetent or, Dearest Daniel, you are a self-centred liar.

August 22, 2022 6:17 am

An academic flapping his jaws about anything in the real world, where folks work and live everyday, is totally nonsensical.
The best thing to do is to ignore these fools(useful idiots) and get on with the business of life for all.
Between the green politicians and over educated dwellers of the campuses throughout this world, we have gotten to the point where the accomplishments of the past are set to be destroyed in the name of the god “climate change”.
Well, except for the elites, who will continue to enjoy the benefits of the fossil fuels energy in their everyday lives. Should the greens succeed in their quest for total control and power over the peons who make it all happen.
This will not end well.

August 22, 2022 6:39 am

“Does anyone even pretend anymore that Biden’s “Inflation Reduction Act” has anything to do with inflation?”

Senator from West Virginia.

August 22, 2022 7:43 am

Renewables aren’t working, which proves we aren’t spending enough on them.

Reply to  MarkW
August 22, 2022 9:57 am

I remember that management axiom from something like 50 years ago. The company that subscribed to that style of thought, for some reason, is no longer around. It took a couple of decades to finally bring a Fortune 500 company to ruin but, leftists play the long game.

Reply to  MarkW
August 22, 2022 11:40 am

Yes, the old DuPont axiom: How do you build a $30B company? You start with an $80B company!

August 22, 2022 8:14 am

Windmills, solar panels and lithium batteries are mostly built using chinese coal. Using machinery built with chinese coal. using a population dependent on chinese coal. Explain again how this reduces emissions.

August 22, 2022 8:20 am

For decades to come, fossil fuel consumption will need to increase to build the green economy. As yet no country on earth has even demonstrated a modern enconomy running at scale on a green energy.

Even France has let their early success slide.

Indur Goklany
August 22, 2022 8:52 am

Of course it’s not enough. When solving a non-problem, no amount of money will make a difference toward a solution to that problem.

Rich Lambert
August 22, 2022 9:35 am

Here’s a paraphrase of US congressman Everette Dirksen’s quote. I’ve change it to account for inflation. “A trillion here and a trillion there and pretty soon you’re talking about real money.”

Sweet Old Bob
August 22, 2022 10:00 am

“Does anyone even pretend anymore that Biden’s “Inflation Reduction Act” has anything to do with inflation? ”

Inflation PROduction Act !

Richard Page
Reply to  Sweet Old Bob
August 22, 2022 10:42 am

If the conduct of some of the people involved were taken into account, it should have been called the Inflation Prostitution Act.

August 22, 2022 10:23 am

This guy is so educated as to be stupid, not able to do the basic life-cycle scale-up math for wind, solar, etc. while having degrees in applied mathematics and meteorology. Given his frequent dalliance with writing popular activist articles, he appears to be Rice University’s version of Andrew Dessler at Texas A&M or Michael Mann at Penn State. He never once mentions nuclear power in his “clean energy” utopia, a glaring omission that nullifies anything else that he has to say.

QUESTION. How can one who has NO engineering degrees be an associate professor of civil/environmental engineering? Like many “engineering” faculty, he likely couldn’t qualify for Professional Engineer (PE) registration.

August 22, 2022 10:36 am

I knew this was coming right after the signing ceremony. Calling all dry riverbeds, storm chasers, and underwater Weather channel reporters.

August 22, 2022 10:45 am

Surmounting them is the next step as the country figures out how to turn the goals of the most ambitious climate legislation Congress has ever passed into reality.

I want to know what the results of the goals will be. That is where the rubber hits the road. There is only one climate goal and that is reducing the global average surface temperature anomaly. Everything else is fluff and armwaving.

So how much will this legislation reduce it? No one seems to predict or care. Except Bjorn Lomborg.


AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Doonman
August 25, 2022 3:59 am

It’s even worse than that – they have never even bothered to consider if “lowering the GAST anomaly” would be “good” or “bad.” (Hint: They called every previous warm climate period a “Climate Optimum” for a reason!)

Gordon A. Dressler
August 22, 2022 11:25 am

“But pouring money into technology is just one step toward solving the climate change problem.” — Daniel Cohan, Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Rice University

Dear Prof. Cohan,

What “climate change problem” is there to be solved?

Are you talking about the last 250 years—where Earth’s climate has changed almost insignificantly compared to the last 200 million years—or the last 8 years where Earth’s global temperature has not risen at all despite mankind continuing emissions of CO2 into the atmosphere?

And what is the ideal climate, defined for all people in the world, that someone has determined should exist so that everyone can then spend untold $trillions so that it will never change in the future?

“If you can’t define something you have no formal rational way of knowing that it exists. Neither can you really tell anyone else what it is. There is, in fact, no formal difference between inability to define and stupidity.” — Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Finally, a personal observation: whatever Rice is paying you as an Associate Professor is way too much, IMHO.

August 22, 2022 1:18 pm

The thing about blackmailers is that they never stop – they always come back for more.

Andy Pattullo
August 22, 2022 2:14 pm

My prediction is that much of the green infrastructure part of the bill will fail long before most of the money is spent productively. Materials, logistics, lack of infrastructure dependencies and regulatory inhibitions will slow all of this down to a crawl as happens with almost all top down ideological government initiatives.

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  Andy Pattullo
August 25, 2022 4:02 am

Let’s hope so!

August 22, 2022 3:09 pm

How much does it cost to build a nuclear plant or a coal fired plant or a gas fired plant? I don’t mean the litigation, I am only interested in the fees, the labor, the material and the land.

Philip CM
August 22, 2022 3:30 pm

NetZero is something like trans-woman. Whatever it is, it will not be anything resembling NetZero.

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