Bernie Sander’s plans for the energy future of the US deserve to be dissected. I will use my standard format. Bernie’s plans will be in block quotes and my rebuttal will be in standard text.
As president, Bernie will:
Ban fossil fuels lobbyists from working in the White House. Massive lobbying and unlimited super PAC donations by the fossil fuel industry gives these profitable companies disproportionate influence on our elected leaders. This practice is business as usual in Washington and it is not acceptable. Heavy-handed lobbying causes climate change skepticism. It has no place in the executive office.
Why stop at fossil fuels lobbyists? Why not ban all lobbyists? What would Washington be without graft and corruption?
End the huge subsidies that benefit fossil fuel companies. When fossil-fuel companies are racking up record profits, it is absurd to provide massive taxpayer subsidies to pad their already enormous earnings. After all, it is immoral that some in Congress advocate harsh cuts in Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security while those same people vote to preserve billions in tax breaks for the most profitable corporations in America.
I don’t know what subsidies Bernie is talking about, but what about the subsidies to wind and solar? Why is it good to cut the subsidies of the fossil fuel companies, but immoral to cut the subsidies know as Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security? Bernie’s plan is to tax the rich, which is a chimera. Such a call appeals to the masses, but it never happens because the rich and powerful have lobbyists. See number 1.
Create a national environmental and climate justice plan that recognizes the heightened public health risks faced by low-income and minority communities. Low-income and minority neighborhoods will continue to be the hardest hit if we don’t act to stop climate change now. Ten years ago, Hurricane Katrina decimated the Gulf Coast, flooding 80 percent of the city of New Orleans. Some areas of the city were submerged in as much as 10 feet of water, and 28 percent of residents had no way to leave the city. Almost 100,000 African American residents who left New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina never returned. The reality of the impacts of the storm on the African American community in New Orleans exposed the broader trend that low-income and minority communities face the brunt of climate change impacts first and worst.
The assertion that Hurricane Katrina was caused by anthropogenic global warming is false. See here. But good pander to that demographic, Bernie!
Bring climate deniers to justice so we can aggressively tackle climate change. It is an embarrassment that Republican politicians, with few exceptions, refuse to even recognize the reality of climate change, let alone are prepared to do anything about it. The reality is that the fossil fuel industry is to blame for much of the climate change skepticism in America. Bernie recently called for the Department of Justice to investigate Exxon Mobil, which may have not only known about the dangers of climate change, but has spent millions of dollars to spread doubt about the causes and impacts of burning fossil fuels
I think Bernie meant “Bring climate change deniers to justice…” Well, Bernie your friends on the left have not been able to convince me that human activity is changing the climate. Are you going to arrest me for my beliefs, Bernie? Seriously?
Fight to overturn Citizens United. In a 5-4 decision in 2010 in the Citizens United case, the Supreme Court opened the floodgates for corporations and the super wealthy to spend unlimited and undisclosed money to buy our elected officials. The Supreme Court essentially declared that corporations, including fossil fuel corporations, have the same rights as natural-born human beings. This decision has enabled billionaires and special interests to increasingly control the political campaign finance system, and amounts to legalized bribery.
Billionaires and special interests have controlled the US government for decades. Bernie, if you are elected, I double dog dare you not to appoint all the hacks from the Council on Foreign Relations as your advisers! They are the very rich and powerful that you say you oppose.
Embrace a science-based standard for carbon pollution emissions reductions. We have a very limited window of time to transition away from fossil fuels toward clean energy for all Americans to prevent a global temperature increase that will cause cataclysmic impacts. Bernie knows that to maintain a safe and healthy planet for our kids and grandchildren we must listen to the scientists who say we must decrease carbon pollution emissions by at least 80 percent from 1990 levels by 2050.
If Bernie thinks that the fossil fuel interests have undue influence now, just wait until there are cap and trade regulations on carbon that he proposes. The corruption will be vastly increased to the benefit of the rich and powerful.
I have 5 children and I hope to have grandchildren. I care as much about their future in this world as Bernie does. However, there is no science based standard for carbon pollution emissions reductions, because it it not science. Science shows 18 years of satellite data with no warming of the earth, but with 1/3 of the carbon released during the entire Industrial revolution.
Put a price on carbon. Bernie agrees with leading economists on both ends of the political spectrum: a tax on carbon is one of the most straightforward and cost-effective strategies for quickly fighting climate change.
No doubt those economists are all Keynesian and statists. Putting a price on carbon is putting a price on life. Consider this, “A large segment of the public does not even know that most of the molecules in their bodies that make life possible contain carbon atoms that originated as atmospheric carbon dioxide.” Dr. Art Robinson
Work toward a 100 percent clean energy system and create millions of jobs. Scientists tell us we have a short time to make an aggressive cut in our carbon pollution emissions. Transitioning toward a completely clean energy system for electricity, heating, and transportation is not only possible and affordable it will create millions of good jobs, clean up our air and water and decrease our dependence on foreign oil.
I have written before on this site about the fantasy of 100 percent clean energy system. it doesn’t exist, just like the tooth fairy doesn’t exist.
Build electric vehicle charging stations. In a country where nearly 30 percent of carbon pollution emissions come from the transportation sector, it is imperative that we end our dependence on gasoline. Vehicles that run on electricity are more efficient than internal combustion engines and can be powered with renewable energy resources like wind and solar. We need to support the development of vehicle charging stations that will allow us to drive cleanly and sustainably.
This is just more fantasy and tooth fairy. Where will the money come from for the charging stations? Just add it to the $18 trillion acknowledged debt we already have? And what will power the charging stations? Solar power in Vermont? In the winter?
Convene a climate summit with the world’s best engineers, climate scientists, policy experts, activists and indigenous communities in his first 100 days. The United Nations Paris climate talks in December are an important milestone toward solving climate change, but even optimistic outcomes of these talks will not put the world on the path needed to avoid the most catastrophic results of climate change. We must think beyond Paris. In the first 100 days of Bernie’s Presidency, he will convene a summit of the world’s best climate experts to chart a course toward the healthy future we all want for our families and communities.
The Paris accords were a failure. Thank goodness! No country in the world is willing to reduce its economy to ruin by signing up to ridiculous carbon targets. Besides, there has been no measured warming for the last 18 years, during which 1/3 of the carbon released since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution was liberated.
Bernie has much more on his website, but it is just more of the same – salvation from evil by the messianic state to be headed by Bernie.
I don’t place my hope in the federal government for anything. They can’t tie their shoes in the dark. If you believe the Feds can accomplish something of value, why aren’t they doing so now?
PS. I will dissect the Republican energy plans in a future post.