Biden’s Green Policies Will Hurt America

Last week at a Youth4Climate event in Milan, environmental activist Greta Thunberg mocked world leaders for being all talk and no action on conserving the planet.

She obviously hasn’t noticed the $163.5 billion that Joe Biden’s $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill would allocate to the fight. Ms. Thunberg can “blah, blah, blah” all she wants—at the end of the day, you’ve got to hand it to sleepy Joe: He’s at least trying to put his money where his mouth is.

But seeing as how it’s not really his money at all, this is bad news for Americans.

Biden’s infrastructure plan includes clean energy tax incentives and taxes on methane or natural gas, and it would mandate penalties on utilities and car manufacturers for failure to meet targets for clean energy and electric fleets.

Like Thunberg, Greenpeace is pressuring the Democrats to do more, but there really is no need for that.

These policies, if approved, will do a number on the U.S. and its population, raising taxes, increasing inflation, and boosting unemployment.

The tax on natural gas and penalties for not utilizing renewable energy are ploys to phase traditional energy out. Policymakers believe making coal and fossil fuels more costly will force the people to switch to renewable fuels paid with taxpayers’ money.

That won’t work.

Renewable energy like solar and wind are highly unproductive and unable to cater to our demand for electricity. The 2020 U.S. Energy and Employment report states about 363,000 people worked to generate electricity from solar and wind, and 214,000 for oil, natural gas, and coal. Oil, natural gas, and coal collectively produced 79 percent of total U.S. energy production while renewables produced only 12 percent.

These clean energy sources are inefficient and require more resources to meet the demands of the population, making them more expensive.

Building owners and tenants that want to avoid the tax on natural gas can only look to renewables, but they are still met with sky-high expenses. They may then raise the rent in proportion to their increased expenses.

Businesses facing higher rent may then retrench workers and hike up their prices to make themselves trim, eventually resulting in higher unemployment numbers and price inflation. This policy mostly affects blue collar workers who cannot afford to brave this financial storm.

President Joe Biden claims the rise in unemployment due to energy taxes can be circumvented by creating more “green jobs,” but these jobs are less productive than what traditional energy jobs can offer.

The bill states green jobs and projects will be subsidized by the government. This means the jobs will not be created based on their own merits and may lead to market inefficiency. In other words, the U.S. COVID-19 recession might not be the only recession of the decade.

Government subsidies on projects are merely welfare policies that attempt to win points and placate the emotional. Policies like these squander national resources to support inefficient markets that end up causing financial upheavals in our lives. Biden’s “zero-dollar price tag” comment is clearly a farce.

Environmental policies are government interventions that disturb the market and cause irreversible damages to our economy.

The green industry needs government handouts to create jobs because their technology isn’t advanced enough to meet our needs. But that is not grounds for policymakers to interfere with our choices and certainly does not nullify the harm caused by their proposed regulations.

Climate alarmists like Thunberg want world leaders to take immediate action to combat climate change without a thought for the economic repercussions these drastic measures can lead to. The truth is, these repercussions cause just as much damage to our lives as the climate causes.

Those who truly care about combating climate change should aim to keep improving the technology, not advocate for mass destruction. It is simply not worth it to give up our livelihoods for inferior energy products in the name of self-sacrifice.

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Xin Yuan Quek

Xin Yuan Quek is an independent economic policy researcher and a contributor at Young Voices Australia. Find her on Twitter @xinyuanquek.

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