Democratic presidential candidate Senator Cory Booker is proposing to spend $3 trillion over the next 10 years to combat climate change and economic inequality.
I don’t know whether to cheer or throw my coffee mug through the monitor.
Compared to Bernie’s $17-trillion and AOC’s $30-trillion Green New Deal, Booker’s proposal is an absolute bargain. But in addition to being a Warrior for Gaia, Booker wants to set up an “Environmental Justice Fund” to fix the problem of income inequality.
I know, I know… what does economic inequality have to do with climate change? Well, nothing. Nothing at all. But with 20 or more Democratic candidates still running for president, free face time on the cable nets is at a premium so Booker figures he might as well touch all the bases and pander to both the socialist activists and greens.
The plan includes an array of executive actions, such as taking on companies that pollute with increased EPA enforcement, requiring all new passenger vehicles to have zero emissions by 2030, and imposing a ban on all new fossil fuel leases. Booker also intends to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement and revoke orders from President Trump to approve the Keystone and Dakota Access Pipelines.
Additionally, Booker wants to push Congress to create a United States Environmental Justice Fund, which would commit $50 billion a year “to advance environmental justice and invest in communities long left behind.” Goals include replacing lead drinking water service lines in residences, schools, and daycares; cleaning abandoned uranium, coal, and hard rock mines; and planting 100 million trees in urban areas that Booker’s plan says suffer disproportionately from air pollution.
The plan sets a goal of 2045 for achieving a completely “carbon-neutral” economy through investments in clean energy such as wind and solar, and “a next-generation smart grid.”
Why $50 billion a year for an Environmental Justice Fund? Why not? It’s a nice round number, would easily fit on a bumper sticker, and is a number even the dullards in the green movement can understand.
I don’t know about you, but such an ambitious plan sounds like it’s going to cost a lot more than $3 trillion. The plan to end all fossil fuel-generated electric power by 2030 — ostensibly by replacing oil and gas with solar and wind — is balmy. It might be possible if we were to construct dozens of new nuclear power plants, but these are liberal Democrats, remember? Nuclear power is a tool of Satan.
Some of his plan is intriguing. Replacing lead pipes is wholly necessary, and because of the massive expense involved, would have to include at least some taxpayer dollars from Washington.
But pie-in-the-sky proposals like requiring all new passenger vehicles to have zero emissions by 2030 can’t be done, and if Congress mandates it, automobile prices will skyrocket. Or, drive the car manufacturers out of business.
The notion that poor people suffer more because of global warming is a manufactured issue. This Environmental Justice Fund that Booker is proposing should simply be renamed as a massive transfer of wealth from rich to poor. Why disguise it? Why hide behind environmentalism? Why not embrace the “Robin Hood” aspect of the proposal and proudly run on it?
Because Democrats like Booker know it’s a losing issue. He needs to “reframe” his argument to, well, fool people. Sadly, many Democrats will be fooled.
But how about the rest of us?