One cannot know what is going on in a certain Wilmington, Delaware, basement. But so far, the presumptive Democratic Party presidential nominee Joe Biden has committed to go far beyond the activism of President Obama and 2000 nominee Al Gore in regard to energy and climate policy.
Last June 4, Biden released a 22-page, 10,000-word Joe’s Plan for a Clean Energy Revolution and Environmental Justice that can be reduced to 17 words: “Biden believes the Green New Deal is a crucial framework for meeting the climate challenges we face.”
Dino Grandoni and Jeff Stein reported in the Washington Post:
Joe Biden is embracing the framework of the Green New Deal in his bid for the White House, calling on the United States to eliminate climate-warming emissions by no later than the middle of the century while creating millions of new jobs and rallying the rest of the world to forestall dangerous rising temperatures….
Biden’s climate plan adopts the rhetoric — and at times, many of the actual policy proposals — of the Green New Deal resolution put forward this year by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), which calls on the nation to eliminate its carbon footprint by 2030.
The activist group Sunrise Movement applauded Biden’s “comprehensive” effort to eliminate fossil fuels, calling it “a major victory for the tens of thousands of people who have raised their voices.” (Sunrise, by the way, has readied its STAGE 5, 2021 goal: “Engage in mass noncooperation to interrupt business as usual and win a Green New Deal.”)
Biden, for his part, while putting the U.S. full-decarbonization date at 2050 rather than 2030 as others have, scoffed at the idea of a middle-ground approach. And recently appointing Sanders’s two climate advisors to his own committee—Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and John Kerry—Biden is Green New Deal focused and ready.
In its June 4, 2019, writeup, the New York Times noted something more. “In some ways,” reported Coral Davenport and Katie Glueck, “Mr. Biden’s plan goes even further than the Green New Deal, which offers aspirational targets but few concrete policy steps to achieve them.
Indeed. A carbon tax; $1.7 trillion in federal spending over 10 years; environmental justice programs; no oil and gas drilling on public lands. And the most far reaching, according to the Times, was carbon tariffs resetting international trade.
Mr. Biden’s most aggressive initiatives call for flexing the United States’ trade and foreign policy muscles to compel other countries, particularly China, the world’s largest carbon dioxide polluter, to reduce emissions.
Combining climate change policy with trade policy, the plan calls for the imposition of “carbon tariffs” on goods imported from heavily polluting economies, a move that would directly affect Chinese imports.
“Joe’s Plan” is all in the service of climate alarmism and government-directed energy transformation. Consumers beware. Taxpayers beware. Mineral-energy producers beware. Even civil libertarians beware as omnipresent enforcement would be needed to regulate and eliminate a number of everyday CO2-positive activities (such as charcoal grilling).
Joe himself might not understand all this, but he is certainly fronting the energy/climate road to serfdom. Al Gore in Earth in the Balance (1992) stated that only “bold and unequivocal action” could save our “dysfunctional society,” making “the rescue of the environment the central organizing principle for civilization.”
The Green New Deal, 27 years later, brought Gore’s eco-central planning vision to life. Joe Biden now promises to effectuate it.