World_news Sanders’ Green New Deal: Same stale, bad ideas for one-sixth the price – Washington Examiner


Six months ago, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez proposed the Green New Deal, an ambitious $93 trillion plan to insult the nation’s intelligence over the next 10 years. Now, Sen. Bernie Sanders has a less ambitious plan to do much the same thing, but on a budget.

Recall that Ocasio-Cortez’s office published and distributed a plan that later embarrassed her because it gave away too much. It mentioned abolishing beef (“farting cows,” that is), retrofitting every building in the United States, eliminating air travel (sorry, Hawaii and Alaska), and providing “economic security for all who are unable or unwilling to work.” What it conspicuously lacked was any element that would actually reduce global levels of carbon dioxide or temperatures.

This can be no surprise. After all, her plan began with the destruction of the nation’s nuclear power capacity, currently our only reliable and carbon-free source of electricity. That’s like breaking your own leg before starting a marathon. Nuclear power and natural gas are needed because renewable power sources are intermittent. The wind doesn’t always blow, the sun doesn’t always shine, and between the two, they tend to be the least useful at the very times of day and year when people need the most power. There’s no realistic or cost-effective way to store electricity on the necessary scale or to make the electrical grid compatible with a system overly reliant on intermittent production.

Second, Ocasio-Cortez had no plan for dealing with China and India. The former emits more carbon than any other nation, and the latter is a rising economic giant on pace to overtake the European Union and the U.S. Assuming there’s a purpose to carbon reduction beyond mere “virtue signaling,” it won’t do the planet any good if American carbon reductions are canceled out by Chinese growth. This is especially important if, as Ocasio-Cortez claims, we have only 12 years before it’s too late; empty Chinese promises to start taking action in 2030 aren’t going to help.

Sanders’ plan shares most of the same shortcomings, even if it costs less. He similarly suggests no idea for dealing with China. At least he doesn’t call for destroying existing nuclear power capacity, but he still wants to prevent new nuclear plants from being built. Again, this proves a lack of seriousness and perhaps even sincerity about his stated aim of reducing carbon emissions. Does he think this whole thing isn’t serious, and is that why he thinks he can afford to spend on 20 million new Government-funded jobs and to throw away $600 billion for high-speed rail?

Sanders claims to believe his plan will pay for itself within 15 years. How? He can only get so far reducing military spending. So, he plans instead to federalize electrical generation through regional authorities and to use the revenues from 2023 to 2035 (apparently, he thinks the government can do this at a very large profit), and then to make “the fossil fuel industry pay … through litigation, fees and taxes, and eliminating fossil fuel subsidies.”

Fewer people take Sanders seriously today than did so when he ran for the White House in 2016. Reading his energy plans, it is easy to see why.

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