This is the first in a series summarizing the full Biden/Sanders Unity Platform.
Yesterday, Joe Biden gave an overview of his climate platform with a price tag of $2 trillion. Media coverage gave it a very rosy glow and left out quite a bit. Of course, so did Biden.
For the campaign, Biden put together several committees, called Unity Task Forces. They are made up of far-left progressives and other slightly less insane Democrats. The goal is to come up with compromise policy recommendations to lure the Bernie Bros into Biden’s camp. And scare the heck out of moderates if these are serious.
The Unity Task Force
The first in the 110-page package is “Combating the Climate Crisis and Pursuing Environmental Justice.” You can read the Climate Unity task Force’s problem here on pages 1-6 and the recommendations on pages 42-55. But I have summarized it here for you because it is simply tedious. Hopefully, I have included the information you need to convince others in your life that it is a fundamental transformation that will cost a ton of money and liberty and yield very little.
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The signatories are:
- Former Secretary of State (and rabid globalist) John Kerry
- Co-chair Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – New York District 14
- Co-chair Rep. Kathy Castor – Florida District 14
- Kerry Duggan – Sustainability Executive and Former Deputy Director for Policy to VP Biden & the Detroit Federal Working Group
- Catherine Flowers – Senior Fellow, Environmental Justice & Civic Engagement, Center for Earth Ethics
- Rep. Conor Lamb – Pennsylvania District 17
- Gina McCarthy -President and Cheif Executive Officer, Natural Resources Defense Council
- Rep. Donald McEachin – Virginia District 4
- Varshini Prakash – Executive Director, Sunrise Movement
The only difference I can see between this summary and the Green New Deal is that it doesn’t specifically restrict cow flatulence. In every other way, it is the same critical social justice gobbledygook filled with false premises. The first paragraph is an excellent example:
Climate change is a global emergency. We have no time to waste in taking action to protect Americans’ lives and futures. From Houston, Texas, to Paradise, California; from San Juan, Puerto Rico, to Davenport, Iowa, the last four years have seen record-breaking storms, devastating wildfires, and historic floods. Urban and rural communities alike have suffered tens of billions of dollars in economic losses. Dams have failed catastrophically in Michigan. Neighborhoods have been all but wiped off the map in Florida. Farmers’ crops have been drowned in their fields across the Midwest. Thousands of Americans have died. And President Trump still callously and willfully denies the science that explains why so many are suffering.
These assertions are simply nonsense. According to environmental activist Mike Shellenberger, author of “Apocalypse Never,” there has been a 90% decrease in deaths from natural disasters globally since the decade ending 1929. Likewise, when economic losses are adjusted for increased development and inflation, there has been no increase. Shellenberger says climate change is real, but it is not the end of the world and thoroughly rejects the apocalyptic presentation that is seen throughout the Unity Task Force’s summary.
It’s Not About the Climate
The second paragraph makes clear the objective is political, not environmental. As Sean McElwee, Co-founder and Executive Director of Data for Progress said after the Green New Deal was presented:
Ocasio-Cortez’ for Cheif of Staff, Saikat Chakrabarti also let the cat out of the bag.
In a report by the Washington Post, Saikat Chakrabarti revealed that “it wasn’t originally a climate thing at all … we really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing.”
The revelation came during a conversation with Sam Ricketts, climate director for presidential candidate Jay Inslee. Chakrabarti further told Ricketts of the Green New Deal, “I think … it’s dual. It is both rising to the challenge that is existential around climate and it is building an economy that contains more prosperity. More sustainability in that prosperity — and more broadly shared prosperity, equitability and justice throughout.”
Throughout the summary on the first six pages, the unity task force takes on issues that have nothing to do with the environment. Their problem statements encompass the need for massive government intervention in housing, employment, training, the energy sector, housing, and even calls for replacing school busses nationwide.
Buckets of Cash
The recommendations are something to behold. I am not sure where the $2 trillion budget came from, but it is a very conservative assessment. After encouraging the use of executive orders to achieve their goals:
The Unity Task Force urges that we treat climate change like the emergency that it is and answer the crisis with an ambitious, unprecedented, economy-wide mobilization to decarbonize the economy and build a resilient, stronger foundation for the American people.
So, Green New Deal.
We recommend the use of federal funds, resources, and authorities across all agencies to accelerate development of a clean energy economy and deploy proven clean energy solutions with ownership opportunities across environmental justice and frontline climate communities in both rural and urban areas, create millions of family-supporting and union jobs, upgrade and make climate resilient our energy, water, wastewater, and transportation infrastructure, direct significant investments to frontline environmental justice communities, and develop and manufacture nextgeneration technologies to address the climate crisis here in the United States.
Of course, we must immediately rejoin the Paris Climate Accords, including the Green Climate Fund. After the pandemic, these geniuses want to give China an economic advantage and redistribute wealth from our recovering economy to other nations for “climate change.”
Jobs and Justice
You would assume that the Unity Task Force’s climate change policies would start with specific environmental policies. You would be wrong. It begins with the burning need for the government to create a bunch of union jobs in a clean energy industry that doesn’t exist and train people to do them.
Emissions or something related to the environment is next, right? Wrong. It is about “empowering energy communities.” There is a lot of marginalized communities, communities in transition, and community-driven infrastructure projects and bankruptcy protection for everyone they intend to put out of work.
Now, right? Water treatment requirements or something? Sorry. Environmental justice is next and appears to include punishing corporations and creating some huge funds to right the historical wrongs of pollution. Which they assert has caused massive death in disadvantaged communities. And then replace all the lead paint and pipes in the country. They also create the right to clean air, water, and a livable future.
Still no conservation, kids. A substantial set of recommendations is about access to capital for “environmental justice communities.” It is essentially a massive set of government investments and government-guaranteed loans.
Finally, Sort Of
Finally, we get to the electricity sector. A small section:
Build Renewable Energy Projects at Historic Levels: Dramatically expand solar and wind energy deployment through community-based and utility-scale systems. Install 500 million solar panels, including eight million solar roofs and community solar energy systems, and 60,000 onshore and offshore wind turbines that are manufactured in America, creating millions of jobs, including hundreds of thousands of union jobs that cannot be outsourced. Break down barriers to clean energy deployment across America and build a modern electric grid that connects communities and powers them with all forms of clean energy.
The barriers to clean energy deployment through wind and solar are lack of adequate land, limitations on battery capacity, and dependence on China for rare metals required for solar panels and batteries. Scientists could tell them this if they consulted any.
So after unicorn farts and pie in the sky, we move on to energy efficiency and housing.
- Net-zero emissions for all new buildings by 2030.
- Retrofit 4 million buildings
- Retrofit 2 million households
- Increase funding for retrofits
- Eliminate energy poverty
- Streamline requirements for unlocking energy efficiency funding
Pretty sure we are over the budget Biden proposed at this point. But the Unity Task Force isn’t finished. And I have lost a significant number of brain cells. But we will power on to transportation.
More Things They Know Nothing About
The federal government is going to buy a lot of new expensive vehicles that don’t exist yet. And require installation of charging stations (which require electricity) for cars we will require U.S. automakers to make, that they don’t make today. More government cash will encourage people to trade in their vehicles for these cars we don’t make and for manufacturers to retool to produce cars that don’t exist. Also, after the pandemic, the Unity Task Force wants more human meat tubes where we can all cram together and infect each other with the next virus China sends us.
The move on to manufacturing next and make one thing very clear. This group of bureaucrats and environmentalists know nothing about manufacturing. Despite their certainly to the contrary, manufacturers have a profit incentive to operate in the cleanest and most energy-efficient way. They look to improve in these areas all of the time.
They also innovate. As an example, a landfill I worked with was partnering with an egg crate manufacturer to capture methane as a low-cost energy source for the manufacturer. The only thing the government “helping” could have done was screw it up. We need more Elon Musks and Peter Theils. Not more government involvement in the economy.
Next is some indigenous and tribal land social justice babble. Right the historical wrongs, sacred sites, and tribal sovereignty. Finally, we get to fossil fuels. It is a snapback to the Obama era regulations and more spending. Then they want to get involved in farming. They know less about this than manufacturing. And they want to make us resilient but don’t ever define what it means.
The Real Goals
Finally, we get to the real goals, international agreements, and making government bigger.
- Host an emergency meeting of the world’s major emitters to ensure that all submit and implement ambitious enhanced NDCs for COP26 as well as long-term decarbonization strategies to the United Nations,
- Globally harmonize post-COVID-19 economic recovery around sustainability, and drive government transparency and agreed upon accountability.
- Rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement.
- Announcing a more ambitious 2030 Nationally Determined Contribution.
- Ratifying the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol.
- Making climate a diplomatic priority.
- Investing in the Green Climate Fund.
- Recommitting to Mission Innovation and significantly increasing federal clean energy research, development, and demonstration.
- Create a Clean Energy Export and Climate Investment Initiative to promote American clean energy exports and investments around the world
- Transform the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) into a Council on Climate Action with a broader mandate.
- Create an Office of Climate Mobilization in the White House that reports directly to the President.
- Establish a White House Council of frontline Environmental Justice community and national leaders who would inform the design and execution of climate change laws, policies, and programs.
- Reinstate the cabinet-level interagency council on environmental justice and update the 1994 Executive Order 12898.
- Elevate the National Environmental Justice Advisory Council to report directly to the White House through the interagency council.
- Establish a new Office of Environmental Justice (OEJ) within the U.S. Department of Justice to hold corporate polluters accountable.
- Host an Environmental Justice summit within the first 100 days in office.
- Create an inter-agency task force to create a comprehensive, multi-industry, national plan to guarantee support and protection for affected communities and workers.
No More Nuclear
This platform wipes out Biden’s original plan to cripple the oil, gas, and coal industries while embracing nuclear. Nuclear is not a part of this plan, not because it isn’t safe. Instead, because it requires a smaller footprint and less intervention doesn’t meet the political goals of the radical left.
Instead, they have created a plan that will level us dependant on foreign sources of oil and gas. Because the recommendations still cripple oil, gas, and coal, it merely increases the likelihood we end up in more endless foreign wars. It also leaves us at the mercy of China for incredible amounts of rare metals, because their movement has stopped us from mining our own.
Some People Understand the Future, Ask Them
If they wanted to create a plan that was forward-looking and not purely ideological based on social justice narratives, there was a better way. Talk to someone like respected futurist Jeff Brown.
According to Brown, we will be living in a completely different world by 2030. A world that will include quantum computing that will assist us in solving our energy problems through nuclear fusion. He also believes we will be using space to reduce our energy needs. He is in touch with innovators and scientists who are working on these technologies today and making progress.
It seems the Climate Unity Task Force needs more Jeff Browns and fewer bartenders. And America does not need this level of additional spending or government intrusion into the private sector.