Skip to content

Biden’s Green New Deal Goes Down The Spout

July 1, 2021

By Paul Homewood

 

It’s largely gone under the radar on this side of the pond, but Joe Biden’s Green New Deal has just been decimated:

 

image

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/06/24/joe-biden-accepts-weakened-infrastructure-spending-deal-republican/

 

Faced with opposition from both Republicans and moderate Democrats, Biden has been forced to accept a watered down $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, which leaves out most of his green reforms and spending, as well as his social programmes.

Green groups are naturally up in arms, with the Green Party putting out this statement:

The Green Party of the United States faults President Biden for putting the interests of Republicans and fossil fuel donors ahead of saving life on the planet in the new infrastructure stimulus legislation, largely excluding climate action in the deal.

“We are in a climate emergency, with time rapidly running out to avoid climate collapse. Sacrificing needed action on climate in order to get sign-off from the climate-denying Republicans and their hordes of special interest donors is a crime against humanity. Biden says he understands the need to halt fossil fuels but his actions continue to prove otherwise,” said Mark Dunlea, Co-chair of the Green Party’s EcoAction Committee.

Biden’s deal with the Republicans would spend most of the $579 billion allocated on  expanding fossil fuel infrastructure (airports, freeways) over five years while promoting privatization. Greens advocate for much larger investments to expand and electrify mass transit.

Biden’s deal does not include investments in green energy jobs, funds to combat the climate crisis and it omitted programs supporting energy efficiency for buildings. Biden originally asked for $213 billion to improve the energy efficiency of homes and $100 billion for energy-efficient schools.

The Green Party also slammed the Biden administration’s decision to uphold permits issued to Enbridge Energy to construct the Line 3 pipeline to bring nearly a million barrels of tar sands oil per day through untouched wetlands and the treaty territory of the Anishinaabe peoples in Minnesota. The Green Party EcoAction Committee is co-sponsoring a protest at the White House on June 30.

The decision was the latest in a series of actions taken by Biden to back Trump-era approvals of oil and gas infrastructure. Greens support the call for Biden to appoint anew commissioner to FERC (Federal Energy and Regulatory Emission) who supports stopping new fossil fuel projects.

The Green Party said that they will continue to advocate for a green economic stimulus package based on an ecosocialist Green New Deal, which Green candidates first campaigned for in 2010. The Green Party supports a $2.7 trillion annual investment in climate measures along with a $1.4 trillion annual investment in an Economic Bill of Rights, including a guaranteed living wage job, single-payer healthcare, housing and education.

https://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2021/06/29/green-party-decries-bidens-retreat-climate-infrastructure-stimulus-line-3

 

Reuters report what is in the bill, of which you will notice “only” $549m is new money over eight years:

 

WASHINGTON, June 24 (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday embraced a bipartisan Senate deal to spend hundreds of billions of dollars on infrastructure projects, building roads, bridges and highways and helping stimulate the economy.

Here are some of the details of the bipartisan framework released by the White House, valued at $1.2 trillion over eight years, $579 billion of which is new spending:

NEW SPENDING

* Roads, bridges and other major projects: $109 billion

* Power infrastructure, including grid authority: $73 billion

* Passenger and freight rail: $66 billion

* Broadband infrastructure: $65 billion

* Water infrastructure, such as eliminating lead pipes: $55 billion

* Public transportation: $49 billion

* Resilience (preparing infrastructure for the impacts of climate change such as floods and other extreme weather events, and cyber attacks): $47 billion

* Airports: $25 billion

* Environmental remediation: $21 billion

* Creation of an Infrastructure Financing Authority focused on clean transportation and clean energy: $20 billion

* Ports, waterways: $16 billion

* Safety, including grants to add bike lanes and other steps to protect vulnerable road users: $11 billion

* Electric vehicle infrastructure, including chargers: $7.5 billion

* Electric buses, transit: $7.5 billion

* Western water shortage: $5 billion

https://www.reuters.com/world/us/whats-us-senates-12-trillion-infrastructure-plan-2021-06-24/

I usually work on a ration of 10 to 1, when comparing US and UK GDP etc. So, in UK terms, the new money equates to about £5bn a year – in other words, pretty paltry stuff.

Worse still for the greens, most of the spending is on genuine infrastructure projects.

So, for instance, the spend of $7.5bn on EV charging infrastructure is really just spitting in the wind, as is a similar amount for electric buses. This is a far cry from the $174bn American Jobs Plan, which Biden promised to “win the EV market” from China, including by providing rebates for consumers, and incentives for manufacturers to retool factories to make batteries and EVs. The same Plan also promised $213bn, to build and retrofit 2 million homes and commercial buildings, plus another $100 for energy efficient schools. There is no money for that in the bipartisan agreement.

Although there is $73bn for power infrastructure, little of this will find its way into building the new renewable energy infrastructure which the greens want.

 

What we are seeing here is how climate policies are coming up against the immovable wall of cold, hard reality, when it comes to paying the bill.

There are hopes among the greens that the missing climate spending could be passed via the back door, in another bill or by budget reconciliation, but this seems unlikely, as moderate Democrats also appear opposed to it. There are, in any case, severe restrictions on the use of budget reconciliation, which effectively allows a majority vote in the Senate. The rules, for example, say that it cannot be used to increase spending, meaning that other parts of the budget would have to be cut. (More here.)

 

It is reckoned that Biden has just a year to get his green agenda through, as by this time next year campaigning for the Mid Terms will be underway. After those elections, the window may well be shut.

Biden has, of course, pledged to cut emissions by 50% from 2005 levels by 2030. Making it happen is quite another thing though.

Despite all his fine words, Obama did little more than kick the can down the road. Despite spending billions on renewable subsidies, renewable energy in the US still only amounts to 6% of total energy consumption.

 

Other countries are also finding it difficult to back up their words with action. Japan, for instance, has insisted it will still need fossil fuels for many years to come, while Canada and Norway have declared that they have no intention of shutting down their lucrative oil fields.

With Russia and the Arab states sticking their finger up at western interference, and Asia determined to look after their own self interest, increasingly we are finding that the UK and EU are becoming more and more isolated in their hair shirt agenda.

Let me finish with a prediction.

I have already forecast that COP26 will come up with little more than a few platitudes, but little in the way of concrete action in reducing emissions.

In ten years time, Prince (King?) Charles and the BBC will still be warning us we only have months to save the planet. And we will still be hearing the same arguments, demands for money and appeals for action at COP36.

36 Comments
  1. Ian PRSY permalink
    July 1, 2021 9:33 am

    It all looks pretty reasonable to me. Prrhaps those voting had read this post: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/06/29/smh-aussie-government-economic-forecasts-ignoring-net-zero-impacts/

    A conversion to UK equivalents would be a good story to send to our MPs and virtue-signalling councils.

    • Duker permalink
      July 1, 2021 11:32 pm

      The ‘code loophole’ is NET, not zero as of course its fanciful getting to an actual zero.
      All it means is that any carbon used is paid for , like medieval indulgences for sin.

  2. Harry Passfield permalink
    July 1, 2021 9:35 am

    I bet AOC and the Squad are tearing t heir hair out. Good!
    One small item in the spending list surprised me: they still need to spend millions on removing LEAD piping from the water network. Still??

    • Ian PRSY permalink
      July 1, 2021 9:46 am

      There’s still plenty of lead in the UK, as my son recently discovered.

      • Joe Public permalink
        July 1, 2021 11:02 am

        Get this – from their EPA:

        “Lead and copper enter drinking water primarily through plumbing materials. Exposure to lead and copper may cause health problems ranging from stomach distress to brain damage.”

        https://www.epa.gov/dwreginfo/lead-and-copper-rule

        Are there many UK buildings with a potable-water system without some copper piping?

      • bobn permalink
        July 1, 2021 1:21 pm

        Amused that copper is seen as a problem. Organic farmers use copious amounts of copper as a substitute for effective fungicides. That copper doesnt rot but gets taken up by plants. Hence ‘organic’ farmed foods have much higher levels of copper than ‘non-organic’. Organic wines frequently fail quality tests due to excess copper.
        Verdict: ‘Organic’ is bad for your health and the soil!
        Anyway, who had an ‘organic’ vaccine jab?

    • John Hultquist permalink
      July 1, 2021 5:11 pm

      Replacing old pipes (& wires) in old buildings is a costly and disruptive affair.
      I stopped drinking from school fountains about 1958. We students lobbied for an upright cold-drink cabinet; 25 cents a bottle (not plastic then). This was in a small Catholic school, and students did the work of replenishing the drinks. Occasionally a few bottles of beer were included in the slots.

      Most folks (USA) now drink water from plastic bottles

      https://ima . . . ges-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71HlJVxFl7L._SL1500_.jpg

      Remove the . . . in the above, then go to that image.

  3. July 1, 2021 10:26 am

    Paul wrote, “What we are seeing here is how climate policies are coming up against the immovable wall of cold, hard reality, when it comes to paying the bill.” While this is true for many (happier) jurisdictions as per Paul’s list, I am very concerned (also as per Paul) that this is not true for the UK.

    With COP26 only months away what further destructive ‘green’ policies will UK politicians unleash upon their electorate in order to curry favour and appease the unappeasable green lobby and their rent-seekers? The future is not bright …

    Just this morning BBC’s Radio 4 was singing the praises of a new battery factory for EVs, but it would not have been built without huge subsidies (estimated at some £100 million) from the public purse.

    The cost of Net Zero is already admitted to be huge, and it is set to become even larger as more competent and more detailed analyses are undertaken. For example, professor Gordon Hughes of Edinburgh University has used forensic accountancy to probe the actual reported costs of wind farms and has written, “There are no good offshore wind projects without either huge subsidies or much higher market prices.”
    https://ref.org.uk/ref-blog/365-wind-power-economics-rhetoric-and-reality

    Worse, as professor McKitrick has written, “But for the world as a whole, there is no robust evidence that even the worst-case warming scenarios would cause overall economic losses.

    It now falls to advisory groups like the IPCC to tell this to world leaders, before they enact any more disastrous climate policies that will do all the harm (and more) that the evidence says climate change itself will not do.”
    https://financialpost.com/opinion/ross-mckitrick-why-climate-change-wont-hurt-growth

    We in parts of the West – especially the UK – are clearly in a sorry state, largely because we did not undertake the necessary due diligence on the science and economics before embarking on what sounded at the outset as a cheap and easy route to a carbon-free future. How foolish are we and our politicians?

    Regards,
    John.

    • Julian Flood permalink
      July 1, 2021 11:37 am

      You write “more competent”… analyses.

      The “more” is redundant.

      JF

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      July 1, 2021 11:50 am

      ‘How foolish are we and our politicians?’ – ‘We’ are the gullible, led by the malleable and/or the bought. Politicians in the West, with few exceptions, have been ‘owned’ by the UN who, in turn, have been pushed by China.
      If MMCC is not what it’s cracked up to be – and many are beginning to catch on that it is not; if the costs of wind and solar farms are being hidden from the public – not to mention their actual performance; and if the costs of net-zero, let alone its efficacy, will bankrupt many states then, the only conclusion that one can come to is that the driving forces behind the movement is political. And it’s not the politics of the natural Right (which is in the grips of the Greens).

    • Tonyb permalink
      July 1, 2021 12:42 pm

      John

      You obviously didn’t read the report. We are faced with ‘climate collapse’. We need to shut down everything immediately. Straws will be provided to everyone can suck co2 out of the air and blow it into lined bags for storage and future disposal.

      For goodness sake panic . Climate collapse in MUCH worse that a climate emergency.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      July 1, 2021 1:27 pm

      The IPCC is NOT an advisory group – it is an ADVOCACY group since it is required to only look at anthropogenic global warming by its remit. It is not a source of research since as Donna LaFramboise pointed out, it is full of grey papers that have been produced by activists such as Greenpiss and the Woke Worshippers Fund, not even subject to the slightest pal-review. Nobody of any repute works on the reports since a mass exodus years ago when they saw the summary was at complete odds with the report.

  4. Jack Broughton permalink
    July 1, 2021 10:35 am

    The reality of the cost / benefit ratio of the nut-nut policies is avoided in the UK. The USA media are certainly more financially aware than the UK media and could oppose the Biden mad policies. Surely, the Swiss referendum should show the UK politicos what the feelings of people are: the Swiss are probably best placed in Europe to finance eco-madness (apart from Norway of course) and did not accept the cost / benefit evaluation.

  5. Mad Mike permalink
    July 1, 2021 10:36 am

    You are on your own Boris. How does that feel?

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      July 1, 2021 2:44 pm

      How does he feel on his own…..? Like someone whose name rhymes with anchor.

      (Sorry…so bloody frustrated by no-nothing politicians)

  6. Ian PRSY permalink
    July 1, 2021 11:16 am

    This post shoots a hole in my council’s policy of ditching Diesel/petrol vehicles at taxpayers’ expense. I’ll be asking them what they’re going to do about it.

    https://wattsupwiththat.com/2021/06/30/171-scientists-co2-budget-of-electric-mobility-twice-as-big-as-assumed-by-european-leaders/

  7. It doesn't add up... permalink
    July 1, 2021 11:38 am

    I’ve a feeling that in 10 years the main concern will be the dominant position of China in the world, and the need to have bulwark against it. Chinese client states will control the lion’s share of key resources. In the West we will be trying to work out how to unscramble the awful mess we will have created. Whilst no longer in the ascendancy, ultra greens will still be being disruptive. The annual Attenborough Memorial Lecture will only be streamed online.

  8. Mike Jackson permalink
    July 1, 2021 11:40 am

    First encounter with reality?

  9. July 1, 2021 11:42 am

    Does anybody know what “climate collapse” is?

  10. MrGrimNasty permalink
    July 1, 2021 12:05 pm

    MO CET June 2021.

    Anomaly about +1.4C (1961-1990), ranked joint 311-320 out of 363 years.

    Started off hot (running +3C) then meh….. ended up on the warm side, nothing special.

    • Tonyb permalink
      July 1, 2021 12:44 pm

      You amaze me if it was that much warmer than average. It is has been a pretty ordinary month with few very hot days, some noticeably cool ones, some cool nights and lots of rain.

      • MrGrimNasty permalink
        July 1, 2021 2:39 pm

        Weather was very split country wide, especially in second half, very different in S/SE to rest. Was much warmer more central and N than S.coast – reverse of usual.

  11. Douglas Dragonfly permalink
    July 1, 2021 12:35 pm

    This Mark Dunlea, Co-Chair of the Green Party’s Eco Action Committee looks for more words to link with climate. E.g. in his demands of Biden he says climate – action, emergency, collapse, denying. All vague, unagreed terminology used to raise levels of anxiety, fear and even terror. I wonder if he draws a salary for his rantings. Yet he says nothing of the ‘brownouts’ negatively impacting the low- and middle-income households priced out of California due to soaring electricity prices.
    When are these Greens going to get their priorities in order ?

    • Dave Andrews permalink
      July 1, 2021 5:44 pm

      He missed out ‘climate breakdown’ which is the new favourite phrase used by Fiona Harvey, the so-called Environment correspondent of the Guardian.

  12. July 1, 2021 12:55 pm

    MIxed metaphors. Only climate “scientists” make mistakes like this, as regards attribution. for example.. Get a grip. Either down the tubes or up the spout, no other combinations. Get a grip….

  13. Broadlands permalink
    July 1, 2021 1:24 pm

    ” …COP26 will come up with little more than a few platitudes, but little in the way of concrete action in reducing emissions.”

    There is only one way to rapidly reduce carbon fuel emissions in transportation…stop all drilling, all refining and stop selling petroleum products. That, of course, is never going to happen. So platitudes and “good intentions” will always be the result no matter how scary the forecasts, the activist protests, or how “green” the politicians become.

  14. John Hultquist permalink
    July 1, 2021 5:37 pm

    “Greens advocate for much larger investments to expand and electrify mass transit.”

    The work-from-home trend is going to make transit more difficult than ever. Perhaps ring and embed major metro areas with parking and have multiple in-city movement options.

  15. Athelstan permalink
    July 1, 2021 6:33 pm

    Anymore, I didn’t think that democracy worked in the US, yet here with Biden’s bonkers bill, the checks and balances won the day.

    Hallelujah!

    Would that we knew of democracy over this side of the pond and if we ever did.

    • Duker permalink
      July 1, 2021 11:28 pm

      There is nothing ‘in democracy’ that says a Senate super majority ( 60 votes) is required. There is no checks and balances that cover that, its merely a Senate rule which has been altered many many times, even the old ‘talking filibuster’ no longer happens
      Would you want the non conservative parties in the Commons ( Cons have only 56% of seats) being able to block the government like Bercow and others were able before the last election

  16. Robin Guenier permalink
    July 2, 2021 8:45 am

    Perhaps a friend, whom I respect, has found the answer to these troubles. He tells me he’s involved with a business called ‘Infinite Power’ that, according to its website (https://infinitepower.life/our-technology/) has developed a ‘a semiconductor that can convert high energy beta particles, X-rays, and gamma rays into electricity. The Infinite Power cells function similarly to a photovoltaic solar cell, with two critical differences: The precise materials and design of the cells allows us to replace solar radiation with high energy releases from natural decay of radioisotopes.’.

    That’s completely meaningless to me. Can anyone help me to understand what’s about – and crucially whether it’s likely to be able make the huge contribution to zero GHG baseload power that’s claimed?

  17. europeanonion permalink
    July 2, 2021 9:29 am

    The reported climate change, extreme weather, seems only to be happening in western industrial nations; very selective weather conditions.

  18. Peter S permalink
    July 2, 2021 6:41 pm

    Climate science is badly flawed. The latest models (CMIP6) are even less fit for purpose than their useless predecessors. The government has a ridiculous net zero target enshrined in law even though no UK voter has ever had a chance to express an opinion.

    Worse than all of that, there is no political party challenging the nonsense or offering an alternative. The MSM seems determined to reinforce the alarmist viewpoint. Industry seems resigned to give in or go out of business. (Don’t you feel sorry for all these desperate car manufacturers advertising their fire prone, limited range, more expensive, inconvenient to recharge vehicles that are no match for the highly optimised machines that are heading for the scrap heap?)

    The same applies to water heating, heating of buildings, all forms of transport and so much more. They even want to tell us what to eat and what we must give up.

    I will not accept any of this rubbish, but I am old, and don’t care what they decide to do with me. I shall resist them all the way. But young people will never inherit all the benefits that represent many decades of optimisation. For what?

    As someone here calculated, our contribution as a percentage of the total anthropogenic CO2 emissions is 0.0000065%. GHG absorption bands are now saturated, much of the warming has been recovery from the LIA. What is the point of net zero?

    We are governed by lunatics. What are YOU going to do about it?

  19. 4 Eyes permalink
    July 2, 2021 9:33 pm

    “What we are seeing here is how climate policies are coming up against the immovable wall of cold, hard reality, when it comes to paying the bill.” We are also getting confirmation that people who seek power, like Biden, will say whatever it takes i.e. lie, to get people to vote for them but then renege when they realize they will suffer at the ballot box next time if they fulfill their lies. Weasels is what I call them.

  20. Matt Dalby permalink
    July 5, 2021 12:26 am

    This shows what can be achieved by a strong, principled opposition that is prepared to full fill it’s primary purpose i.e. hold the government to account and actually oppose it. Something we are sadly lacking in the U.K. not just in regards to climate, but also lockdown. I used to be a labour supporter, but can never forgive them for abandoning the working class in favour of metropolitan elites on Brexit, climate change, lockdown, identity politics, etc. etc.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: