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Biden Climate Plan

Edward A. Reid Jr.
Posted On:
Oct 20, 2020 at 3:00 AM
Climate Change
Green New Deal Presser 2/7/19Photo by Senate Democrats

The Biden Climate Plan is very similar in scope and intent to the Democrat Climate Platform with one notable exception. The Democrat climate platform does not mention the Green New Deal, though the Biden Plan identifies it as a “crucial framework for meeting the climate challenges we face”. Biden has selected Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and John F. Kerry to lead his Climate Task Force, both of whom are strong advocates for the Green New Deal.

The Biden Climate Plan is more specific in certain aspects than the Democrat Climate Platform. These specifics are being enunciated and modified on the campaign trail, so it is not certain how the final plan will play out. For example, Biden has enunciated several inconsistent positions on the future of hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas development, ranging from a total ban on fracking to a ban on fracking on “public lands”, including offshore areas.

The Biden campaign has adopted the slogan: “Build Back Better”. However, this slogan does not really apply to the US energy sector, since nothing in the US energy sector has been destroyed or severely damaged, so there is no need to build back since the existing infrastructure is functional and is meeting the nation’s energy needs. Arguably, the only real opportunity to “Build Back Better” exists in the Democrat-controlled cities which have been ravaged by rioting, looting and arson. However, based on the local and state government responses to the rioting and destruction, it is doubtful whether most of the businesses destroyed will choose to build back at all.

The Biden plan commits to rejoining to the Paris Accords and to further funding of the UN Green Climate Fund. It proposes to achieve greater “ambition” in the US participation and to actively seek greater ambition from the other signatories to the Paris Accords. The Biden plan sets no requirements for greater ambition globally relative to the increased ambition of the US participation. It ignores the total lack of “ambition” under the accords by China and India, among others.

The Biden plan, as explained on the campaign trail, proposes some $1 trillion plus federal funding intended to incentivize private funding and investment in net-zero facilities and equipment. However, the federal funding level and the envisioned private funding fall far short of the estimated costs of the Green New Deal. There is also no recognition of the $60+ trillion deadweight loss associated with abandoning fossil fuel resources in the ground and replacing functioning electric generation infrastructure before the end of its useful life.

The differences between the Biden plan commitment to federal funding and the actual funding requirement necessary to accomplish the goals established in the plan would be achieved by a combination of legislation and regulation compelling private sector expenditure and investment.

The Biden Climate Plan and the Democrat Climate Platform both represent government on steroids, insinuating government at all levels into corporate and personal decision making. While Biden asserts he will not raise taxes on those earning less than $400,000 per year, his plan will certainly impose other, non-tax costs and investments on virtually all taxpayers.