Presidential candidate Joe Biden offered a different vision of the U.S. energy future than the one being shaped by the Trump administration — in a podcast over the weekend, ten days out from Election Day.
Here are some Biden quotes on climate change:
- “Climate change is the existential threat to humanity…We have a moral obligation, not just to young people — we have a moral obligation to everyone.”
- “First thing I’m going to do is rejoin the Paris climate accord, because without us — nobody runs it, nobody steps up, no one has the moral authority to do it.”
- “We’re going to get to zero net emissions for the production of electricity by 2035 and it’s going to create millions of jobs. But, we can’t be cavalier about the impact it’s going to have and how we’re going to transition to do all this. I just think its a gigantic opportunity to create really good jobs.”
- “We cannot discount the concerns of people, what it means to their well being…and how they make a living.”
- “The fastest growing jobs are in solar and wind — paying prevailing wage — $45 to $50 bucks an hour, plus benefits.”
- “It’s a fait accompli — no one is going to build a another oil- or gas-fired electric plant — they’re going to build one fired by renewable energy.” [Editor’s note: A lot wrong in that quote — firstly, plenty of gas-fired electric plants are going to be built in the coming years.]
- Biden noted, “The president of the U.S. has control of signing $600 billion in federal contracts and one of the largest auto and trucking fleets in the world.” Biden said the U.S should “own the EV market.”
- “We need to invest billions on transmission.”
- “We can go net neutral in terms of carbon tomorrow and we’ll still have our shores flooded, we’re going to have hurricanes…We need a president who can lead the world.”
- “The thing that bothers me most about Donald Trump is he has so fundamentally damaged the moral authority we have. We have the most powerful military in the history of the world — we not only lead by the example of our power, but the power of our example — and the example we’re setting around the world is devastatingly negative to our own security interests and the world’s overall interest.”
The current administration has made aggressive moves to open up BLM land to the oil and gas industry, funded clean coal and CCS projects and performatively encouraged the doomed U.S. coal industry. The Trump administration has left the Paris Climate Accord and does not acknowledge the science of climate change.
In recent congressional testimony, Kate Kelly, public lands director at the Center for American Progress said, “The Trump administration is favoring oil and gas over renewable energy,” noting that the administration holds quarterly lease sales to the oil and gas industry and is offering another 500,000 acres this year during a pandemic when there is an oil glut — at minimum bids of $2 per acre.
She compared that to the “Zero acres and zero competitive lease sales” for renewables during this administration. Royalty rate relief was provided for oil and gas while wind and solar received retroactive charges. She said there was a “huge juxtaposition” in the way the two industries were treated.
Congressman Jared Huffman said that the administration adhered to an “Oil of the above energy policy.” He said the administration was “giving away our public lands” in an unprecedented rush to develop oil and gas.
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I will simply point out that while the contrast between Mr. Trump and Mr. Biden is stark in the realm of the environment; you should not neglect the fact that Republican state legislators and others in local government have been eager contributors on the assault on the environment.
This is because of the methods and tactics employed by the GOP in their centralized efforts at party building that the GOP has gained its internal messaging coordination. Trump’s oversized ego has acted like a black hole in establishing the former political party into something everyone, at least in the Lincoln Project, believes has devolved into a political cult. In at least a dozen instances, former GOP members of Congress have been primaried over their overt environmentalism.
And if you’re doing legislative outreach, you should be very aware that a “D” behind the name of a state and local office holder is no guarantee on this issue as local interests from car dealers, developers, realtors, banks and insurance companies are all in on the role of the automobile in local development … and a significant portion of them don’t have the imagination to see beyond the traditional ICE car.
The obvious, though, is that leadership has to come from somewhere 🙂
Natural gas fired power plants could be fired by any gasious cumbustable. LP gas, Hydrogen gas, recovered methane from livestock etc. it can be blended like we do 85% methonal for cars. Can you imagine taking sea water, breaking it down with electrolosis, from energy generated by wind and solar, to hydrogen and oxygen then compressing both gases for re-sale? The oxyxgen for medical, welding, or even roclket fuel and the hydrogen for fuel cells or to fire up power plants. DC Solar to DC electrolosis requires no conversion to AC and alone is only 1 to2 cents per kilowatt hour. When hydrogen is burned or used in a fuel cell, it comes out with pure water that could be used to drink or re-sell as distilled water.
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