America faces a dilemma. Will it focus on real environmental problems that do measurable harm to human and ecological wellbeing, or will it mandate policies to head off climate disasters that are based on warming predictions have been repeatedly proven wrong by real-world empirical observations? Will it recognize that harnessing intermittent, weather-dependent wind and solar energy requires enormous amounts of raw materials and mining, resulting in massive land-use impacts and human rights abuses, and is anything but clean, green, renewable, and sustainable? Or will it ignore all this?
Solar farms generate only 1.5 percent of the nation’s electricity and would be an inefficient way to generate the more than 8 billion megawatt-hours of power that fossil fuels and nuclear provide each year to meet industrial, commercial, residential, and automotive transportation needs and charge backup-power batteries.
Paul Driessen: "This Policy Brief reviews the largely ignored environmental damage that would result from the expanded use of renewable energy mandated under the Green New Deal...Too little attention has been paid to the fact GND policies would seriously harm the environment—including lands, wildlife habitats, and threatened and endangered species—and thus would undermine the very values environmentalists have espoused for decades. America faces a dilemma: Will it focus on real environmental problems that do measurable harm to human and ecological wellbeing, or will it mandate policies to head off a perceived climate disaster based on fear and highly dubious speculation?
Under the spending deal approved shortly before Congress took its holiday break, the investment tax credit, which reimburses 30 percent of the cost of new solar systems, will begin winding down next month, dropping to 10 percent for most companies by 2022. The energy production tax credit, which gives wind power generators roughly two cent per kilowatt boost, will follow in 2021, decreasing steadily until eventually hitting zero in 2025. In the short term, analysts forecast that both technologies will see surges in installations, as residents and developers seek to take advantage of the tax credits while they can. In 2017, wind and solar developers received $11.6 billion in credits, according to the independent Congressional Research Service. But once the credits hit their designated ends, that growth is expected to slow.
One of the moderators during Thursday’s debate asked Biden if he would “be willing to sacrifice some of” the growth that “three consecutive American presidents” have seen in the economy. This economic growth has occurred partly due to oil and gas production.“
The answer is yes,” Biden said, even after the moderator noted that the move could displace hundreds of thousands of jobs. “The answer is yes, because the opportunity, the opportunity for those workers to transition to high paying jobs, as Tom [Steyer] said, is real. We’re the only country that’s taken great crises and turned them into enormous opportunities.”
“We have enormous opportunities,” Biden continued Thursday. “There are so many things we can do. We have to make sure we explain it to those people who are displaced – that their skills are going to be needed for the new opportunities.”