What Kamala Should have Said

October 8, 2020

Just posted this as a twitter thread:

Kamala Harris missed a great opportunity to explain the way forward on climate and energy.

Banning Fracking is beside the point. No one banned coal mining, but it’s going away,  because the market is killing it. 

Not all of Trump’s bluster about coal, even appointing a coal lobbyist to head the EPA, could keep that industry from collapsing even faster under Trump than it did under Obama.

The same path is ahead for #fossilgas , ban or no ban.

We understand that there is a technological revolution underway that will sweep away fossil fuels. Solar and wind are now the cheapest source of new energy, and the EV/Solar/Battery company Tesla has a higher market cap than Ford, GM and Fiat/Chrysler combined.

Exxon has been dropped from the Dow Jones average, not because of radical greens, but because the market, smart money, and yes, greedy capitalists, have gotten it that fossil fuels are going away. A wise man said “We did not leave the stone age because we ran out of stones”

The Auto industry is moving to EVs, that’s not a policy choice, it’s a technological transition that’s already baked into the cake. And it’s going to help some communities and hurt others. We have to mitigate those impacts just like we mitigate Covid-19 impacts

A more relevant question is, how will we prepare young people for the transition, and cushion the impact for those communities that are losing long time sources of livelihood. The Green New Deal , if there is one, is just that. 

For example the Fracking industry in the US has been massively hurt by the #covid-19 crisis,  tens of thousands skilled jobs are gone with uncertain prospects of returning. But we can immediately put their skills to work plugging orphaned frack wells ( there are millions leaking toxic waste and greenhouse gases)

Idled offshore drilling companies have the skills and tools to transition to building offshore wind power, and many are moving in that direction.  Drillers will also be needed to ramp up geothermal energy, which can be much larger than it currently is.

The future is bright if we pro-actively grasp it. Our competitors in Europe and Asia get this, and are moving ahead smartly. We would be wise to take the chance to lead, while we still have it.


14 Responses to “What Kamala Should have Said”

  1. Ron Benenati Says:

    She didn’t miss a great opportunity. She ducked a great opportunity
    Want a better statement? Need a better candidate…but hey, that’s why she’s there.
    Enough said, I’ve got a gag order
    Gun to my head

  2. Ron Benenati Says:

    PS – the mythical market is moving way to slow. You may have noticed
    The change is raging everywhere you look

  3. jimbills Says:

    What I took from that exchange mostly is that Republicans believe they have a winning political strategy by continuing to demonize renewables, ending fossil fuel use, and environmentalists, and Democrats are still worried they might be right in that assumption.

    It’s not political or economic reality in the United States to outright ban fracking. But policies can be enacted to help push it off the cliff in a significantly faster time frame than just allowing the free market to run its course. The Biden plan does this to a degree, although we’re still talking decades before fracking ends in this country. The Trump plan is to do nothing except continue to reward fossil fuel producers, mock wind power, and withdraw from any international agreements.

    Kamala Harris should have pointed out the obvious that U.S. carbon emissions are higher than they were in 2016 despite falling coal use, that we need to lower those emissions to ‘follow the science’, that Trump plans the opposite approach, that he has been eroding the regulations in other pollutants that have led to our relatively clean air and water in the last few decades, and that climate change will only get much worse that it is today without any action.

    Instead, she was on defense for most of the climate segment. She tried to explain new job creation from renewables, but it’s a defensive instead of offensive approach, and many will remain skeptical about it until they actually see it happening for themselves.

    I thought she did a decent job overall on the debate and that Pence did a good job at the typical Republican ‘confuse and avoid’ pattern of debate. I couldn’t help but laugh when the fly landed on his head during the race relations part.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      I got an email saying that the ghost of Ruth Bader Ginsburg was heard to say “I sent the fly”

    • doldrom Says:

      Actually, the fracking business is as good as bankrupt, bequeathing millions of wells that need to be shut by tax payers. This one will probably be helped along by the market fast than many think.

    • neilrieck Says:

      Between 1950 and 1975, Republicans and Democrats represented Conservatism and Liberalism respectively. That all changed after 1976 when the Democratic party shifted attention from “supporting workers” to supporting big businesses and Wall St. Then in 1981, Regan fired the air traffic controllers signalling the start of open warfare on unions and working people. Since then, conservatism has morphed into neoconservatism whilst liberalism has morphed into neoliberalism (and you now need a flashlight and magnifying glass to tell the difference between the two). The reason I mention this is that I heard Pence accuse Harris of being “too liberal” (and I hear stuff like this on the street all the time) when the truth of the matter is that one party is almost a mirror image of the other. If this were not true then how do you explain Bill Clinton getting rid of the Glass–Steagall Act (which triggered the sub-prime debacle); Democrats staying quiet during the American Attack on Baghdad (Democrats used to be anti-war; during this time Chris Hedges was fired by the so-called “liberal” New York Times for openly stating that W’s war was illegal an unjust (Saddam had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks); Obama’s development of drone attacks (supposedly to limit military casualties) resulted in hundreds of thousands deaths in the middle-east; Hillary Clinton’s glee after the NATO attack on Libya which took out Qaddafi) and now Biden is implicated in the 2014 problems in Ukraine which were triggered by NATO expansion right up to the door of Russia. Trump has doubled Obama’s drone attacks while giving much more money to the Pentagon which funds the defense (offense) industry. So now you know why people could have easily switched their vote from Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump. THERE WAS NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO (other than the fact that Trump was only qualified to host reality TV shows – but hey, Regan was just an actor). IMHO real change will only come when the Democrats begin supporting human causes again (pro-worker, pro-health care, anti-war, etc.)

      • greenman3610 Says:

        been hearing this since “there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between Al Gore and George Bush”.
        You think the Supreme Court would not be different had Greens voted for Al Gore?
        You think we would not be further along on climate?

        BTW there’s a million Iraqis that might want to weigh in, but they can’t, they’re dead.

  4. Lionel Smith Says:

    I am having trouble with this article:

    New Campaign Ads Feature “What Big Oil Knew”

    Clicking on anything such as title, ‘Read the rest of these comments’ or ‘5 comments’

    brings me the black window of death named as GIF image, 1 x 1 pixels

  5. […] posted my take on how Joe Biden and Kamala Harris might best answer questions on fracking.Below, a deeper dive by Zeke Hausfather and his colleague Alex Trembath […]

  6. […] Anybody out there, Dems have to up their game talking about climate solutions. See my piece about What Kamala Should have Said. […]

  7. […] Anybody out there, Dems have to up their game talking about climate solutions. See my piece about What Kamala Should have Said. […]

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