The infrastructure package being debated in the Senate this week weighs in at a whopping 2,702 pages and $1.1 trillion.
While the layman might think of infrastructure as roads and bridges, Washington’s definition is about as nebulous as the measures by which lawmakers are claiming they pay for the bill.
Nearly a quarter of those pages (649) are spent on energy and climate policies. Here’s a look at what is in some of them.
State ‘Carbon-Reduction’ Mandate
The climate subtitle of the bill expands the size and scope of the federal government across the spectrum with alternate-fuel corridors, grants for electric and alternative vehicle refueling stations, cost-sharing for weather-resistant infrastructure, workforce training programs, and even grants for reflective sidewalks and tree planting.
By and large, these are highly local projects that should be paid for by local residents and users, and in some cases (such as EV charging stations), they duplicate what states and the private sector are already doing.
Perhaps most significantly, Section 11403 requires states to reduce CO2 emissions from highway transportation by developing state “carbon-reduction strategy” plans that must be approved by the Department of Transportation and updated at least every four years.
The bill does not indicate what environmental benefits these strategies are to achieve or what level of reductions will be required. That gives a lot of leeway to the Transportation Department to define the goal and minimal accountability to Americans as to costs and benefits of the program.
That’s a poor way to conduct environmental policy, likely will increase costs for Americans, and will have no meaningful impact on global temperatures.
The infrastructure bill also cannot be understood in a policy vacuum. The Biden administration knows it cannot do all it wants to on climate policy unilaterally, and so it has played tough negotiator to get climate policies into whatever legislative train is moving; namely, the infrastructure package and accompanying budget reconciliation package.
Even where details are nonexistent or time for due diligence is discarded, the administration and liberal Democrats are impatient to force climate legislation through so they can go to the U.N.’s November climate conference with a gleaming package of policies that prove just how committed the U.S. is to the Paris Agreement.
That’s important context for the bill’s other climate-related policies, such as the requested Environmental Protection Agency report on the “levelized cost of carbon abatement” of different electricity technologies. That’s a report that could be either doing handmaiden’s work for a federal electricity mandate or showing the major inconsistencies of the implicit CO2 prices already implemented through policies such as state renewable electricity mandates.
Congress needs to remember whose job it is to do the legislating, and that it’s lawmakers’ constituents who will bear the costs of ill-conceived policies.
Cronyism in energy markets
Division D on energy incorporates Sen. Joe Manchin’s Energy Infrastructure Act, which the West Virginia Democrat introduced just last month.
While it could have been much worse (by using the force of government to shut down legitimate activities and industries, as liberal Democrats are trying to do to every stage of the oil and gas industries and their customers), it by no means is a good bill, in that it spends exorbitantly on virtually every energy technology, fuel, and supply chain.
It relies on credits, grants, loan guarantees, federal cost-sharing programs, rebates, assistance, and federally funded research, development, demonstration, and commercialization.
The bill authorizes appropriations for the Energy Act of 2020, passed without much scrutiny in the massive omnibus spending package late last December (a trend in legislating that should be concerning to all Americans).
It spends on major programs at the Department of Energy, riddling the energy sector with cronyism and barriers to entry for companies and technologies that do not fit the federal government’s definition and mold of “innovative.”
That takes the U.S. further away from an energy sector where businesses must compete to understand and meet the needs, preferences, and choices of customers (as opposed to what is politically preferred).
Competition gives customers more choices, who are increasingly interested in “green” energy options and are always interested in reducing their expenses if given the freedom to make informed decisions.
At the same time, competition forces companies to be efficient and innovative—inherently pro-environment features. Bailouts do the opposite.
Many of the energy and climate policies in the infrastructure package aren’t as overt as a mandate. But expanding the scope of government in energy markets by way of the tax dollar quietly migrates power away from customers to politicians, bureaucrats, and politically favored companies and technologies.
The infrastructure package should leave Americans with a lot to be concerned about, both for the price tag and for the opaque process through which it emerged.
American Patriots Uniting to Fight Tyranny from, Well, Everywhere
We’re building a new conservative news network. Based on responses from fellow patriots, we’re heading in the right direction.
It may be hard to believe based on what we’re seeing around the nation today, but there are many reasons to be hopeful. First and foremost, the false narrative that most of America hates traditional values or the foundations of our nation are finally being proven false. Despite the best efforts of globalists and Neo-Marxists, patriotic Americans are starting to unify in droves. Meanwhile, Joe Biden can barely muster a half-filled auditorium to deliver his message to the scant few watching CNN and the paid shills in the “crowd.”
The “silent majority” that drove Donald Trump to victory in 2016 and 2020 (yes, he won by a landslide but was robbed along with the American people) is finally starting to realize we cannot stay silent any longer. We used to win with our votes, but those are being stolen. We used to win with truth, but the radical left and their agents in mainstream media, Big Tech, and academia are building a post-truth society to drown out reality. Today, we are waking up to the realization that only through direct action and fearlessly spreading the truth can we overcome the nefarious forces working against us.
We are proud to be working our way up to the tip of the conservative media spear. Our network is growing. We’re establishing strong partnerships with like-minded news outlets and courageous journalists. Even as Big Tech suppresses us, the honest messages they’re trying to quash are finding their way to the eyes and ears of patriots across the nation. With the help of new content partners like The Epoch Times and The Liberty Daily, we’re starting to see a real impact.
Our network is currently comprised of nine sites:
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JD Rucker – EIC