By David Wojick
It is now clear that none of Biden’s radical green promises are going to be kept. More broadly the wild green fantasies are going nowhere. There will be some action, but nothing much.
None, nowhere, nothing much — welcome to the wall of nothingness. I for one am celebrating it, at least for now. The fight is not over by any means, but it is going pretty well.
The Green New Deal is dead in the water, maybe even sunk out of sight. Its $10 trillion a year is a glaring fantasy. There is no prospect of a gruesome Great Reset, nor for the incredibly stupid Building Back Better. These draconian slogans are trash, for the next few years anyway. The called for Wrenching Social Reconstruction is not in the offing. We can all breath a little easier.
Nor are we rushing toward the impossible zero electric power emissions by 2030. In fact our coal burn is rebounding to an estimated 600 million tons a year. Speaking of trillions, that is 1.2 trillion pounds of coal.
There is likely to be some big green spending, code named “infrastructure”, but building stuff is not social change. After all, Republicans like pork too.
Here the big fight is not so much what to build as how to pay for it? For example, the Republicans want electric vehicles to pay their fair share of highway fix ups. Since they pay no fuel taxes they need their own tax system. The green Dems think EVs should get a free ride, literally, all in the name of stopping climate change. Hence the standoff.
The Dems want to tax corporations, gleefully ignoring the fact that poor people buy a lot from them, so they are taxing the poor. They think corporations are some sort of rich people. Jeff Bezos and Amazon are actually very different entities.
I am very curious to see how EV charging stations fare in the infrastructure game. How the Feds can fund them is something of a puzzle. Maybe just more silly tax credits, with grid scale batteries thrown in. We are already wasting huge sums making wind farms and solar slabs into lucrative tax shelters (for the rich). EV charging and big batteries fit right in, right? Green stuff that would never be built otherwise.
The greens have to get something, after all, given that a lot of people believe their nonsense. That they get nothing is itself a fantasy, one I choose not to join.
So the Dems might go the “budget reconciliation” (BR) route, bypassing the filibuster and leaving compromise with the Reps behind. In a way BR makes sense because it is limited to tax and spend, which the Dems are very good at. The good news is that major new policies cannot be made under BR. And they only get one a year, something the news never mentions.
So for example the physically impossible Federal Zero-Emissions Electricity Standard, introduced in March with no chance of passage by itself, cannot be sneaked through on a BR bill. At least not legally, but hey, this is Congress.
The climate alarmists are already howling about nothing serious happening. Music to my ears. All the really bad green stuff is well off the table. I can watch the game with interest instead of outrage. That is something of a pleasure, because in an important sense my side is winning. Nothingness is here to stay