More Climate Catastrophizing from Democrats on the Hill

Senate Democrats are rolling out their own “climate action” document, much in the same vein as the “Climate Crisis Action Plan” released earlier this summer by House Democrats.

Senate Dems’ “Case for Climate Action” says global warming is “scary stuff” and that by following their plans Americans will have better technology, cheaper energy, and “things that simply work better.” California’s Democrat-controlled government has been in pursuit of its own climate action plan for two decades. Ask any Californian if that plan has yielded “things that simply work better” and you’ll get a laugh in return. The Senate Dems’ plan, like California’s Dem-orchestrated plan, would slow technological improvement by burdening companies with expensive red tape; it would result in much, much higher energy prices; and it would lead to significant standard-of-living disruptions like the rolling blackouts California’s shortsighted policies caused in August.

The Senate Democrats’ “Case for Climate Action” is detached from energy realities and from the daily concerns of Americans.

Among the many dangerous propositions in this documents, the following four stand out as asking for problems:

1) The biggest pledge is for a national “Clean Energy Standard” that would eschew affordable, reliable electricity from natural gas and coal. 

Senate Dems claim that a “completely decarbonized” electricity sector is “not only possible—it is the economically favorable choice.” This statement is deeply concerning. Fossil fuels provide close to two-thirds of our power today. Natural gas, a plentiful domestic resource, currently provides 38 percent of our electricity nationwide. Coal-fired power plants provide 24 percent. Nuclear makes up 20 percent. Hydropower contributes 7 percent and wind and solar combine only to make up about 9 percent of our electricity. 

The Democrats’ document says “clean energy” provides 38 percent, in reference to the full portion of electricity that comes from non-fossil sources. The document plays up the contributions of wind and solar when the lion’s share of that generation comes from utility-scale nuclear and hydro. They include nuclear and hydro when useful, but allude almost exclusively to further investment in the intermittent sources that are causing California its problems. This is a willful deception.

The document cites states that have significant geographic advantages in wind and/or generation (Iowa, Kansas, and New Mexico) as evidence that these technologies can play the primary role on the grid, ignoring that the most populous areas of the U.S. aren’t in the windy Great Plains or the sunny Southwest, but rather they’re in the Northeast.

2) Senate Dems claim they will “decarbonize” cars and public transportation, through electrification. Aside from the failure that has been electric vehicle (EV) policy, which has resulted in the subsidization of joy rides for the wealthy, the electrification of transportation would put unmanageable stress on the electricity sector, because the Senate Dems’ plan calls for the elimination of reliable natural gas and coal electricity.

Democrats (and some wayward Republicans) have been using every tool at their disposal to politically engineer our auto fleet. They have failed. Americans like vehicles with many different profiles. Some like low-range electric vehicles for buzzing around town. Most others prefer larger, more powerful internal combustion engine vehicles that can go greater distances on road trips and fuel up in a matter of minutes. 

EV policy to this point has been to hand more money to the rich in the form of credits and rebates. Those credits and rebates subsidize what is usually the second, third, or fourth car for wealthy people on the coasts. Senate Dems even admit “low-income households generally do not have access to government and utility programs that promote…electric vehicles.” 

Yet Senate Dems call for more of the same, extending and expanding EV tax credits.

3) “The Case for Climate Action” also talks a big game on job creation, overlooking the uninspiring results of the green stimulus enacted during Barack Obama’s first term just a decade ago. As David Kreutzer documents in The Washington Times, “The down-trodden are always invoked, but rarely helped by plans to reorganize industries and the economy.  The Obama-Biden Stimulus Package failed on its green-jobs promise but did not fail to deliver hundreds of billions to the well-connected.” Democrats, once again, are making promises they can’t fulfill. Genuine, viable, economically-valuable jobs come through market-driven, in-demand production, not political deals.

4) The Senate Democrats are perpetuating the Joe Biden campaign myth that an economy-disrupting anti-fossil energy crusade will somehow be a pro-American endeavor. The United States is the world leader in oil and gas. China controls much of the global trade in the components necessary for solar panels and wind turbines. The idea that abandoning some of our greatest economic strengths and geopolitical assets in favor of a politically-preferred alternative on the grounds that it will make our country stronger defies logic. China’s economy isn’t a model.


The Senate Democrats’ “Case for Climate Action” peddles the same tired wish list Big Green, Inc. has been after for years: more money for non-viable technologies that at best fill a niche role in our energy economy. The plan is dressed up as an investment in America’s potential, but it calls for the abandonment of our greatest energy strengths. 

The “Case for Climate Action” is a political document in an election year, not a set of serious recommendations for creating prosperity.

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