The Democrats’ green moonshot

Originally published in the Washington Examiner

While the price tag of Democrats’ spending bill has fluctuated between $3.5 trillion and $1.75 trillion because of intraparty disharmony, some things haven’t changed. The legislation is still full of destructive policies that would wreck our economy.

The Biden administration is attempting to jam the bill through an evenly divided Senate with the help of Vice President Harris’s tiebreaking vote. Instead of using their narrow majority to try and pass popular bipartisan legislation, Democrats are focusing on enacting their wish list.

If the money must be spent, it should be used far more wisely. Just a reminder, since the COVID pandemic hit us in February of 2020, our government has expended an additional six trillion dollars on keeping the economy going. And the $1.2 trillion “transportation” bill President Joe Biden just signed with thirteen house Republican votes has only $110 billion for what most people think of as infrastructure, such as roads and bridges. And it will add about $256 billion to our bloated national debt .

That added debt is almost as much as we spent landing Neil Armstrong on the moon. In today’s dollars, we spent $280 billion. Since then, twelve men have walked on the moon. If the Democrats successfully pass their spending bill, they will spend six times the costs of the moon landing.

The funds allocated to climate change in the social spending bill are almost double the moon landing. And it is just a down payment on trillions more in wasteful spending. Recently, Janet Yellen, the Secretary of the Treasury, said that the global price tag for the green transition is between $100 and $150 trillion over the next 30 years. That is 530 moonshots or nearly triple the GDP of the ten biggest economies in the world.

With this kind of money, the world could colonize the moon or send astronauts to Mars. Or better yet, launch a Manhattan Project to find a replacement for fossil fuel energy. Fossil fuels provide 84% of the world’s energy. That’s thirty-six billion barrels of oil, eight billion tons of coal, and 135 trillion cubic feet of natural gas annually. Without a long-term replacement for fossil fuels, the Left won’t be able to solve climate change.

Congressional Democrats want to spend heavily on renewable technologies that will likely never replace traditional energy sources fully. In recent years, power shortages in California and Texas were both caused by an over-reliance on renewable energy sources. This is because wind and solar sources are notoriously inefficient , and scientists still haven’t figured out how to adequately store the energy they do produce.

The Left also seems to believe that communist China, India, and other developing countries will commit to Western climate goals that would damage their economies. Events such as the COP26 summit are ultimately useless because most of the world doesn’t have any incentive to change its behavior.

Biden has based his energy policy on a series of faulty assumptions about both renewable energy sources and the behavior of other nations. Instead of fighting climate change, Biden’s policies will only serve to hurt families. His plans and projections rely on technology that mostly comes from China which makes three-quarters of the world’s batteries and solar panels.

As part of enacting Biden’s agenda, the Left is working to make fossil fuels more expensive to obtain. Biden shut down the Keystone pipeline, stopped leasinglands for oil and gas production, and congressional Democrats now want to force banks not to lend to American producers and manufacturers of fossil fuels.

We are on a leftist imposed energy starvation diet. If you are like me, you like warm showers, air conditioning, affordable gas, and electricity. All these things will go up, up, and up in price if the Democrats pass this new green moonshot plan.

While we waste our money on these initiatives, the Chinese government will get rich. We will continue buying green energy equipment from them while they burn coal to generate cheap energy. Right now, the Chinese government is making the Biden administration look foolish as it ramps up oil production even while promising to limit carbon dioxide emissions.

Efforts by Democrats in Congress to pass a humungous green spending bill will only serve to strengthen China while hurting American families. We need policymakers who foster American independence and are willing to invest in innovative technology, not the same old green energy policies that have failed in the past.

Frank Lasee is a former Wisconsin state senator and former member of Gov. Scott Walker’s administration. The district he represented had two nuclear power plants, a biomass plant, and numerous wind towers. He has experience dealing with energy, the environment, and climate.