Sanders’ plan offers hallucinatory economics
One need not be a fan of fossil fuels or of reasonably priced electricity generated by them to roll one’s eyes at Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sander’s version of the “new green deal.”
Sanders has released his “climate plan.” It envisions spending $16.3 trillion in taxpayers’ money during the next decade to eliminate all use of fossil fuels — coal, natural gas and oil — in the United States. Included in his plan is spending $2 trillion for new wind, solar and geothermal energy installations and $2 trillion to buy electric cars for Americans. At $30,000 per electric vehicle, $2 trillion would replace less than one-fourth of the privately owned cars and light trucks in the United States.
But the senator from Vermont ventures even deeper into hallucinatory economics by claiming the cost of his plan will be borne by fossil fuel companies, through a new tax. Never mind that few executives would pay a tax intended to put their companies out of business in a decade. Why not just liquidate immediately?
Then there’s the jobs factor. His plan would create 20 million “good-paying unionized jobs,” Sanders insists. Missing from his equation is the number of jobs that would be lost because of his overhaul — along with the effect on low-income families of having to pay higher utility and transportation bills.
Like so many in his political base, Sanders is unwilling to consider spending a fraction of $16.3 trillion to find ways to continue using economical fossil fuels in environmentally friendly ways. That simply is not part of his thinking.