Democrats seek to embed Green New Deal into their $3.5 trillion spending spree
Liberal Democrats in Washington, D.C. are seeking to shoehorn the Green New Deal into their massive, $3.5 trillion reconciliation bill because this policy would never pass on its own merits.
Inside the spending package is a policy called the Clean Energy Performance Program (CEPP), which is a de facto mandate to build more wind turbines and solar panels, combined with a de facto tax on carbon dioxide emissions.
Here is how it works.
The CEPP would require electric providers to decrease the emissions associated with their electricity by four percent year over year. Electricity providers that meet the goal would get taxpayer-funded grants from the Department of Energy, while those falling short would be fined for lack of compliance.
Electricity suppliers that meet the 4 percent clean energy growth target would receive grants equal to $150 for each megawatt-hour (MWh) above 1.5 percent of the previous year’s clean energy target, which must be used for customer programs like direct bill assistance, clean electricity investment and worker retention. The penalty for missing the goal would be $40 per MWh.
While nuclear power would technically be considered “clean” under the definition of this proposal, there is no practical way to permit and build a reactor fast enough to have it running in time to qualify for taxpayer-funded grants. As a result, the CEPP constitutes an enormous wealth transfer from American families to wind and solar developers.
If this policy seems fishy to you, that’s because it should.
The Biden administration originally proposed a “Clean Energy Standard,” which is more like a California Energy Standard, that would seek to achieve many of the same emissions reductions as the CEPP, but this policy would never pass in the Senate, where Democrats would need ten Republican votes to break a filibuster, which isn’t likely to happen.
As a result, Democrats in Washington are pretending that this isn’t the most massive policy-driven transformation of the energy system in the history of our country and are seeking to cram it through reconciliation, which only requires a majority vote.
Proponents of CEPP argue that it won’t increase the cost of electricity because the government grants will help defray the costs of building unreliable wind and solar installations. Building these energy sources has already caused Minnesota’s electricity prices to increase 2.72 times faster than the national average since 2007 when Minnesota’s renewable energy mandate was signed into law.
Minnesota’s renewable energy mandates have meant higher electric bills for those who can least afford them. CEPP proponents argue this method will be less regressive because more of the costs will be foisted on to taxpayers.
We all know that government subsidies do not reduce the cost of goods or services; they simply change which pocket the money comes out of. Under this plan, Americans will surely be paying a lot more money, for less reliable electricity.
Unfortunately, the CEPP has support among Minnesota’s congressional delegation. Senator Tina Smith has been one of the leading advocates of this plan, and Congresswoman Angie Craig voted to approve this ill-conceived policy out of the House Energy and Commerce committee.
At the end of the day, the CEPP is a massive wealth transfer from hard-working American families to government-approved monopoly utilities and wind and solar developers.
Americans need reliable, affordable electricity, and the obsession with wind and solar by liberal environmental groups will leave us in the same dire situation as California.