By Daniel Turner
Published June 05, 2019
Not wanting to be left behind as Democratic presidential hopefuls move further and further left and seek to outdo each other with ever-more radical, expensive and impractical policies, former Vice President Joe Biden announced a fantasy plan Tuesday to combat climate change.
The immediate goal of the plan seems to be to curry the favor of self-described democratic socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. and supporters of her “pie-in-the-sky” (Michael Bloomberg’s words, not mine) Green New Deal.
Embracing the Chicken Littles of the left who warn of the end of the world as we know it in a dozen years, Biden said “we must take drastic action now to address the climate disaster facing the nation and our world.”
Biden estimates his plan would cost the federal government $1.7 trillion over 10 years, to be supplemented by more than $5 trillion from the private sector and state and local government. But the numbers, much like the science, are all speculation. One thing we know for certain: estimated costs for government programs almost always prove to be far too low.
But, hey, as Ocasio-Cortex says, who needs to be factually correct when you are morally right? And who needs to worry about how to raise trillions of dollars from American taxpayers?
Not only that, who needs to worry about the millions of Americans who would lose their jobs in the coal, oil, natural gas, manufacturing, steel, transportation, agriculture, ranching and mining industries under the Biden plan, which he modestly calls The Biden Plan for a Clean Energy Revolution & Environmental Justice.
Last month, I warned that Ocasio-Cortez and her allies were making a transparent play to force Biden to embrace their radical Green New Deal.
The Biden campaign said the former vice president’s plan would ensure that the U.S. achieves a 100 percent clean energy economy and reaches net-zero carbon dioxide emissions no later than 2050 – a lofty goal that in reality is unachievable.
The freshman socialist congresswoman castigated Biden for considering a “middle ground” environmental plan, saying that was a “deal breaker.” Biden responded with defiance, saying that he’s “never been middle-of-the-road on the environment.”
Now it appears Biden is putting up a white flag of surrender to the Democratic Party’s most radical fringe, since “moderation” has become an obscene term in the vocabulary of today’s activist Democratic base.
Rather than proposing sound ideas, Biden and his fellow Democrats are touting ideas that sound good but won’t work in the real world.
Substantively, Biden is basing his climate plan on what his campaign calls the “Green New Deal as a framework.” The Biden campaign said the former vice president’s plan would ensure that the U.S. achieves a 100 percent clean energy economy and reaches net-zero carbon dioxide emissions no later than 2050 – a lofty goal that in reality is unachievable.
Biden wants to ban offshore drilling of oil and natural gas in Alaska (a move that would devastate that state’s economy), rejoin the Paris Climate Accords, and ban new oil and gas leases on public lands. The Biden plan also promises to make “historic investment in our clean energy future,” even though such investments have wound up losing huge amounts of money in the past.
Biden’s radical energy and environmental platform may help him now, but it could spell doom down the road if he becomes the Democratic nominee for president. Voters tend to punish – not reward – environmental extremism. This has happened recently in both Australia and France.
Here at home, a president won’t win critical swing states like Ohio and Pennsylvania by promising to throw energy workers out of their jobs. When you pledge to eliminate coal jobs, threaten new oil and gas leases, and adopt burdensome regulations, blue-collar workers know they are in your crosshairs. And they don’t react kindly to it.
Biden constantly reminds us of his nickname – “Middle-Class Joe” – and speaks passionately about workers. He launched his campaign and located its headquarters in Pennsylvania as a symbolic gesture to his connection to blue-collar America.
And Pennsylvania is a shining example of that. Over 320,000 people are employed in oil and gas, generating over $44 billion for the state economy. Under a President Biden, most of their jobs would disappear.
Does “Middle-Class Joe” expect the vote of the people he wants to throw onto the unemployment rolls? While their jobs, their mortgages, their kids’ education, their communities are all being threatened to appease the radical left?
No wonder the AFL-CIO – the nation’s largest labor group, representing 12.5 million workers – has categorically rejected the Green New Deal.
This is a monumental level of disconnect. This is Hillary Clinton telling coal miners to prepare for a presidential pink slip, and then being genuinely surprised she lost Pennsylvania.
Biden’s energy policy isn’t one of “Middle-Class Joe.” It’s one of a Washington insider – a career politician who is aloof and pandering.
Biden’s energy platform pushes hard left to appease the Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez base. It may help him in the Democratic primary, but it will crush him in the general election should he be the nominee.
Meanwhile, President Trump’s energy policies and fueling economic growth and bringing prosperity, a low unemployment rate, and affordable energy to our country. This will be a powerful selling point for the president when he faces voters in November 2020.