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Biden’s Green Spending Bill Will Make Little Difference

July 29, 2022

By Paul Homewood

 

Greens are getting excited after Joe Manchin capitulated to pressure and agreed to vote for the Reconciliation Spending Bill, which includes $370bn of green spending:

 

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There are unreal expectations that it will lead to the US meeting its target of 40% emission cuts by 2030 (from 2005 levels). As Alex Epstein notes, however, it will likely make little difference at all, other than enrich fat cats:

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The US energy consumption and CO2 emissions are about 14 times the UK’s. The spending package runs for ten years, so in UK terms, $370bn equates to about £2bn a year, which is chicken feed.

We know too that much Federal spending is simply pork barrelling, and much never gets spent on what it is intended for. This Bill, for instance, allocates $60bn for “environmental justice priorities to address disproportionate environmental and public health harms related to pollution and climate change", which not reduce emissions one iota.

In theory, the rest will go to subsidise renewable energy, electric cars, etc, but the latter are already subsidised, something this Bill merely continues. Currently, EV sales make up about 3% of the total in the US. As in this country, they are far too expensive for ordinary people to afford, even with taxpayer subsidy. It is unlikely that sales will suddenly rocket.

And in terms of electricity, throwing a few more subsidies at solar and wind farms, which again is already being done, will only affect things at the margin, given the tiny amount of subsidy on offer. Not least, of course, is the problem of integrating intermittent renewables into the grid, the cost of which will outweigh the subsidy many times over.

Biden had originally committed to a $2 trillion green spending spree, but this was thrown out by Congress last year.

13 Comments
  1. Martin Brumby permalink
    July 29, 2022 4:05 pm

    Well, he is a Dimocrat…

    Can it be much longer before Xi Jinping dies of excessive laughing?

  2. Malcolm permalink
    July 29, 2022 4:23 pm

    Paul, America, like the UK simply cannot afford to squander ‘borrowed’ money on such nonsense. As someone posted on social media recently – the US ‘Fiscal Cliff’ put in perspective:

    US Tax Revenue: $2,170,000,000,000
    Fed Budget: $3,820,000,000,000
    New Debt: $1,650,000,000,000
    National Debt: $14,271,000,000,000
    Recent Budget Cuts: $38,500,000,000

    Now remove 8 zeros and pretend it’s your household budget:

    Annual Family Income: $21,700
    Money the Family spent: $38,200
    New Debt on Credit Card: $16,500
    Outstanding balance on Credit Card: $142,710
    Total Budget cuts so far: $38.50

    If ordinary people managed their finances so poorly they’d be evicted.

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      July 29, 2022 4:28 pm

      When the 5th columnists manage to break this country their masters in Peking will no doubt ride to the rescue. A real Chinese takeaway.

  3. Broadlands permalink
    July 29, 2022 4:32 pm

    “The package will include tax credits to speed up the development of wind, solar, hydrogen and nuclear power; a tax credit to reduce the price of new electric vehicles….”

    It is incorrect to say that this will have little effect. In fact, it will have a huge effect simply because none of that “speedy” development can be done without using people with machinery and vehicles that run on fossil fuels for energy. It’s all about transportation and conventional vehicles are the only option. Furthermore, trying to lower CO2 emissions to meet climate goals will be much harder as more and more biofuels will be needed to complete the transition to these renewables and to electric transportation. Taking more oil from strategic reserves to lower the price of the fuels can only add CO2 to the atmosphere more rapidly. On balance, a strange way to address the so-called climate emergency.

    • Matt Dalby permalink
      July 29, 2022 9:13 pm

      I wonder if we’ll ever be told which companies benefit from the tax credits and other forms of government spending and whether or not theses companies/the individuals that own them are major donors to the Democrats or Biden’s presidential campaign. Something similar happened during Obama’s first term when aprox. $16billion out of a $20billion environmental stimulus package went to major donors to the Democrats.

  4. July 29, 2022 4:45 pm

    The wording of the Bill actually includes ‘fossil fuels’ and ‘nuclear’. Otherwise Manchin would not have agreed it, given that he is controlled by ‘coal’.

    • David Wojick permalink
      July 29, 2022 9:36 pm

      Yes but isn’t that just a tax credit for carbon capture, a dead end technology? I just read there is a methane tax and WV is a big gas state so that hurts. Have not read the bill yet.

      I think the big thing for a Manchin was deficit reduction. Good luck with that.

  5. MrGrimNasty permalink
    July 29, 2022 8:04 pm

    Interesting comment on costs.
    https://joannenova.com.au/2022/07/thursday-open-thread-112/#comment-2571673

  6. David Wojick permalink
    July 29, 2022 9:33 pm

    Technically tax credits are not spending, just a loss of income that may cost taxpayers nothing. In fact a standard tax credit is applied to profits, which some of these technologies may never see. But it may be possible to sell them to people who do have profits (including oil companies!). In any case there is no government spending involved. Stupid yes, spending no.

  7. July 29, 2022 10:29 pm

    Emissions cuts and economic decline are related.

  8. markl permalink
    July 29, 2022 11:38 pm

    It’s all virtue signaling and no substance like most if not all the so called “climate actions”. The intent is to mollify the AGW crowd but things like this are like death by a thousand cuts.

    • Gamecock permalink
      July 30, 2022 11:29 am

      Profligate spending in a time of extreme inflation. All the alleged goals are junk.

  9. Gamecock permalink
    July 30, 2022 11:41 am

    ‘The package will include tax credits to speed up the development of wind, solar, hydrogen and nuclear power’

    After 30 years, they are going to ‘speed up?’

    Development has NOT been constrained by lack of money. This does nothing but throw cash in the fire.

    ‘money to address the disproportionate burden of pollution on low-income communities and communities of color’

    We fixed pollution 50 years ago. But the playbook still works, so they keep using it. Though I’d like to think the sympathetic crowd is shrinking.

    ‘Separately, the Senate yesterday passed an expansive, bipartisan bill to bolster U.S. manufacturing — especially of semiconductors — and to counter China’s geopolitical rise.’

    The regulatory burden Congress created drove manufacturing off shore. Giving some cash back to selected businesses is a BandAid on an amputation.

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