By Larry Bell
If you haven’t been paying much attention to presidential candidate Joe Biden’s “if elected” promises and the contents of his 90-page-plus Democratic Party policy platform jointly drafted and heralded by the Bernie Sanders Socialist camp as the most progressive set of agendas ever, perhaps it’s a very good idea to do so now.
Welcome to California green brownouts and blackouts:
The Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force on Climate Change co-chaired by self-avowed Socialist Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and former U.S. Senator and Secretary of State John Kerry stated that it “urges that we treat climate change like the emergency that it is and answer the crisis with an ambitious, unprecedented, economy-wide mobilization to decarbonize the economy and build a resilient, stronger foundation for the American people.”
The plan incorporates a commitment to eliminating “carbon pollution” from power plants by 2035, and for zeroing out net greenhouse emissions across the entire country by 2050.
The agenda also calls for humongous expenditures in renewable energy, including installing 500 million solar panels and manufacturing 60,000 wind turbines.
Among this phantasmagoria of proposals, Democrats will spend what it takes to “retrofit” energy reduction improvements on four million buildings and two million households in five years, and will require that all new American buildings will be “net-zero” in carbon emissions by 2030.
Additionally, the government will replace all 500,000 school buses with zero-emission alternatives within five years.
In addition, all public works projects requiring federal permission or money will have to pass a climate test. Read this as providing leverage to eliminate or hold ideological activist hostage to all new fossil fuel and pipeline projects.
A year ago, Biden accurately argued that the U.S. represents only a minor and shrinking share of global emissions and therefore can’t fix an alleged climate problem with measures designed to grease domestic constituencies.
Nevertheless, the former vice president said during a 2019 CNN Climate Crisis Town Hall that his administration would support stopping all “oil drilling or gas drilling on federal lands.” He also claims that his version of the Green New Deal will stimulate the economy by creating lots of new jobs.
Biden’s running mate, along with the Bernie Sanders climate mafia who hold great policy sway over him, however, have no such compunction about banning fracking and drilling of fossil fuels everywhere.
It requires no imagination whatsoever to predict the results.
As providently forecast by Paul Tice in the Wall Street Journal, if you like current coronavirus lockdowns, you’ll love a carbon-free future with dead cities and town centers, empty highways and shopping malls, and abandoned airports and stadiums.
Tice writes, “Without fossil fuels, Americans would face limited mobility and economic activity would be diminished, with higher unemployment and perennial supply chain disruptions since hydrocarbons are used to make and transport most goods.”
A major matter of missing money: Although the Democratic fossil energy-starving, mythical zero-emission replacement costs aren’t identified, they will certainly run into many-trillions of dollars.
So where will that green energy-subsidizing green come from? I think you can probably already guess.
We should have learned from the 2009 Obama-Biden administration’s failed American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which included more than $90 billion for clean energy programs, that extending low-cost loans and investment and production tax credits to solar and wind projects did little to stimulate their weak economy or lagging employment.
Covid pandemic business shutdowns, employment layouts and four government bailout packages have since added nearly $3 trillion to the national debt.
Now add to this, growing deficits accruing to losses of businesses and tax revenues to disproportionately Democrat cities that are experiencing the nation’s worst riot and crime-plagued economic and social casualties.
Most notable among these are Minneapolis, Manhattan, Portland, Oregon, Seattle, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C.
As I elaborated in my Sept. 2 column, Barron’s asked Eaton Vance (a major muni investor) to prepare a comparative financial creditworthiness ranking of all 50 states based upon financial and economic data taken from the past fiscal year along with a variety of projected COVID-19 influences.
All eight of the top-ranked states had Republican governors. Farthest at the other end of the rankings are Democratic Illinois at the very bottom, along with second worst rated New Jersey.
Sayonara to safe suburban refuges from urban upheaval:
Growing hordes of businesses and families are fleeing for the suburbs as decades of liberal governance have made many metropolitan centers unaffordable, unlivable, and unable to provide for their citizens’ basic needs in housing, public safety and education.
Don’t count on those attractive small community conditions continuing.
As I also discussed in a July 7 column, Democrats under Biden are committed to embrace New Jersey Dem. Senator Cory Booker’s social engineering strategy to end local control of single-family suburban zoning in order to end meaningful choices of how Americans can live.
Reapplying Obama-Biden Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) regulations that the Trump administration abolished, the Biden White House would compel the construction of high-density “stack and pack” apartment buildings in residential neighborhoods, and forcibly transform neighborhoods across America so they look and feel the way far left ideologues and technocratic bureaucrats think they should.
Under threat of withholding federal money, HUD’s 2015 “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” (AFFH) rule pressured Westchester County, N.Y. which was never found to have discriminated against anyone, to raise property taxes in order to build nearly 11,000 low-income, high-density apartments.
Crime-plagued Minneapolis abolished single-family zoning this year – a few months before it voted to abolish its police force, and Oregon outlawed single-family zoning last year. For the past three years, the state senator who represents Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco has led a push to abolish single-family zoning in California.
Little more than a decade ago — before Obama and Biden — who could have possibly imagined that a major sector of American politics would devolve to even contemplate such dystopian circumstances?
Now that you can — and are — don’t imagine for a moment that Joe’s promises can be taken lightly.