by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
If you think the economic shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic was bad, be forewarned: the economic impact of former Vice President Joe Biden’s new climate change plan would make the last few months look like prosperity.
Biden’s original climate change plan was to spend $1.7 trillion over a decade and phase out fossil fuels by 2050. But that plan was unveiled during the primary season, and since then the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee has moved further left.
Apparently, Biden’s earlier plan wasn’t extreme enough to please the far-left activists who surround him, so he went back to the drawing board and came up with something even more drastic.
Released Tuesday, Biden’s new plan comes with a whopping $2 trillion price tag in the first four years and moves the deadline for switching to 100 percent carbon-free power up by 15 years to 2035.
That switch would entail massive investments in new facilities and painful dislocations and job losses for millions of workers currently employed in every stage of the energy production process, from extracting resources to delivering electricity to consumers.
These are just some of the complications with vastly overhauling an industry that Americans depend upon so heavily and that accounts for over $400 billion in annual economic activity.
A recent analysis by Wood Mackenzie, a global consultancy group, found that the transition to a 100 percent renewable U.S. power grid would require an “investment of up to US$4.5 trillion over the next 10 to 20 years.”
Given the cost overruns with most government projects, does anyone really believe even $4.5 trillion would be sufficient?
Where is that money coming from? At least in theory, from us — through the tax increases Biden would impose upon American workers and businesses if he is elected president.