For the second time in the last two months The Washington Post Editorial Board panned a plan by Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders –this time calling his climate plan aka “Green New Deal” as both “grandiose” and “wrongheaded.”
Sanders plan which he estimated would cost $16.3 trillion–compared to the national debt which is now $22 trillion, excited a class of left-wing ideologues but brought eye rolls from everyone else according to the Post.
The Post was on board with the plan’s goal that the U.S. would produce no net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, but called the rest of the plan “wrongheaded.”
Mr. Sanders would spend more than $2 trillion to build new wind, solar and geothermal electricity-production infrastructure through government-run utilities. He would spend another $2 trillion buying people electric cars. Though he proposes totally electrifying car and truck transportation, he also wants to spend $607 billion linking U.S. cities with high-speed rail, which, under his plan, would represent a major cost for meager carbon benefits.
Mr. Sanders insists that his plan would be paid for through new taxes levied against fossil-fuel companies, cuts in military spending and new income tax revenue from the jobs he claims his plan would create. The senator promises 20 million “good-paying, unionized jobs.” Only about 6.1 million people are unemployed in the United States. Though some currently employed Americans could try to trade up to the cushy gigs envisioned by Mr. Sanders, many of them would not have the skills required to weatherize homes or install solar panels.
Mr. Sanders also promises to make his plan unnecessarily expensive by ruling out a long-established source of carbon-free electricity: nuclear power. Not only would he halt the building of new plants, but he also would deny re-licensing to the existing ones that now provide about 20 percent of the nation’s electricity.
In calling Sanders’ plan “grandiose” the editorial board said much like his other proposals they are left wondering what he would actually do should he be elected president since this plan has no chance of passing Congress even with a strong Democratic majority and said that the direct government spending on projects such as power plants is a “recipe for unconscionable waste.”
They also said that his plan to pump money into what it called “proven boondoggles” such as high-speed rail is a red flag.
Even though the Post thinks that a steadily rising carbon tax would be a better alternative to push the U.S. to adopt clean fuel technology, it also said that maybe this should include a small role for nuclear power which is the bane of environmentalists.
The editorial board didn’t mince any words when it summed up its opinion of Sanders plan:
“We do not know, precisely, what the most efficient path looks like. We are also certain that Mr. Sanders does not.”