Friday, August 23, 2019

A New New Green Deal

The sub-head on this reads: Bernie Sanders Unveils His $16 Trillion Green New Deal. 

I don't normally cover politics, but when candidates start promoting plans that have dire economic consequences, I think we should all pay attention. I'll list some of his proposals and why they are not tenable.

But first, let's look the progress that has been made and what plentiful energy has done for our Gross Domestic Product and overall well-being. The following two charts show this.

Now that this is out of the way, let's look at Bernie's plan: 
  • No more fossil fuels. “Reaching 100 percent renewable energy for electricity and transportation by no later than 2030 and complete decarbonization by 2050 at latest.”  I don't know what decarbonization actually means, since it's really not a word. I assume it means no use of carbon-based fuels. Also, most studies show that 100 percent renewable for electricity and transportation is not technically feasible in 10 years; we probably can't afford it anyway. I live in Georgetown, Texas, which claimed at one point to have 100 percent renewable sources. Yet the city utility system is going broke because of the higher cost of renewable energy, and when the wind doesn't blow and/or the sun doesn't shine, the city must buy electricity off the grid. To make matters worse, the city contracted for so much renewable energy, that when supply outstrips demand, the utility system must sell back the excess to the grid at lower prices. Residents are now paying the most per kilowatt hour of anyone in the state of Texas. The left-wing Vox magazine doesn't think it's possible in 10 years, and maybe not even in 30.
  • No nuclear power. "To get to our goal of 100 percent sustainable energy, we will not rely on any false solutions like nuclear, geoengineering, carbon capture and sequestration, or trash incinerators." This limits our options. Let's take France, for example. Nuclear power is the largest source of electricity in France, about 70 percent. France's carbon emission per Kwh are less than 1/10 that of Germany and the U.K. Its emission of nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide have been reduced by 70 percent over 20 years. Unlike its neighboring countries of Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom, France does not rely very much on fossil fuels and biomass for electricity or home heating thanks to an abundance of cheap nuclear power. Taken as a whole, the country therefore has superior air quality and lower pollution related deaths.
  • Electric cars for everyone. Provide $2.09 trillion in grants to low- and moderate-income families and small businesses to trade in their fossil fuel-dependent vehicles for new electric vehicles.” I'm planning a trip to Michigan this fall, which is about 1,200 miles one-way. The longest range electric car today is the Tesla S model, at 250 miles. I don't want an electric car. 
Other points in the plan include no more diesel trucks, fully decarbonize (there's that word again) the airline industry, return of the Civilian Conservation Corps, suing the fossil fuel industry, making the fossil fuel industry illegal, and expansion of food stamps,  

How to do we pay for this? Other than higher taxes for just about everything and everyone, make the fossil fuel industry pay. But if they are illegal, how does that work? 

This doesn't include his plans for government takeover of the health care industry and education. 

Sounds like Fascism to me. 

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