If your home isn’t carbon neutral, Elizabeth Warren might not let you build it. And if that means no new homes get built, she’s OK with that.
In an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Jan. 8, the Massachusetts senator and fading presidential candidate talked about her Thunberg-lite plan to help end climate change. (Climate crisis? Catastrophe? What are we going with these days?)
During her appearance, Warren was asked what she’d do to “change the tide of U.S. policy on the issue of climate change” and acted as if she’d been thrown the softball of all softballs.
She promised “to do everything a president can do all by herself, that is, the things you don’t have to do by going to Congress.” This includes putting an end to energy mining and drilling on federal lands or offshore and “not having a coal lobbyist as head of the Environmental Protection Agency.”
You might not be surprised to learn that’s a dig at Andrew Wheeler, President Donald Trump’s EPA administrator, who was previously an attorney representing a coal producer.
Warren then moved on to her plan for housing, which she said was borne out of the dire predictions scientists have been making.
“What scares me is every time you go back to the scientists, they tell you two things,” the senator said. “It’s worse than we thought, and we have less time.
“That means we’ve got to be willing to do things, for example, like regulation. By 2028, no new buildings, no new houses, without a zero carbon footprint.”
And she’s coming for your car and electricity bill, too.
“By 2030, trucks — light-duty trucks and cars, zero carbon footprint. By 2035, all production of electricity, zero carbon footprint,” Warren said.
“We do three regulations, we can cut our carbon footprint by 70 percent,” she said.
Oh, and there was also talk of some vague idea of social justice — because schemes like this always need to be undergirded with some such vague idea.
“We also need to make environmental justice really at the heart of our climate plan,” Warren said.
“A central part of the plan for me is I want to put a trillion dollars into cleaning up the places that collectively we have destroyed as a nation and bringing them back,” she said.
Just out of morbid curiosity, I looked at the section of Warren’s campaign website dealing with environmental justice and then rather wished I hadn’t.
“We didn’t get here by accident. Our crisis of environmental injustice is the result of decades of discrimination and environmental racism compounding in communities that have been overlooked for too long,” Warren says on the site.
“It is the result of multiple choices that put corporate profits before people, while our government looked the other way. It is unacceptable, and it must change.”
Warren advocates a “just transition” for all Americans via her flavor of the Green New Deal, which should be interesting when the economically vulnerable and marginalized individuals she claims to care so much about see the price of an electric car or a carbon-neutral home.
That’s going to be especially true when you consider that the only reasonably cheap option for green energy is nuclear, and Elizabeth Warren will be having none of that.
“We’re not going to build any nuclear power plants and we’re going to start weaning ourselves off nuclear energy and replacing it with renewable fuels,” she said during CNN’s mammoth climate town hall back in September.
I wonder how much of Warren’s bluster on the environment is naïveté and how much of it is cynicism.
On the naïve side, this isn’t affordable or practical. It would lead to a mass voter revolt once the bills started coming due.
On the other hand, there’s also the element of cynicism. This has no chance of happening on the timetable Warren is proposing — certainly not with congressional approval, given that there are even some Democrats who would blanch at such an obviously self-defeating suite of environmental laws.
However, when you consider how serious of a candidate Elizabeth Warren is, consider that this is a woman who wants to ban regular old buildings in favor of carbon-neutral ones, all while solving serious social issues — one of which presumably is homelessness. Good luck.
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