“It’s Gotta be Transformative” – Pete Buttigieg on Infrastructure and Carbon Tax

March 26, 2021

3 Responses to ““It’s Gotta be Transformative” – Pete Buttigieg on Infrastructure and Carbon Tax”

  1. ecoquant Says:

    A few relatively high paying fossil fuels jobs will be converted into many more non-Carbon-loving zero Carbon energy jobs which will, necessarily, be lower paying per hour, but on net will be a win.

    • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

      Framing is everything. Many of the benefits will be politically and “newsmedially” practically invisible (children’s asthma, manifold oil and gas line leaks, ash slurry behind dams, fuel transport failures), so the activists will have emphasize how bad these metrics are now.

      • ecoquant Says:

        There are hard numbers for these, for example, in Prof Mark Z Jacobson’s 100% Clean, Renewable Energy and Storage for Everything. But I doubt evidence will sway people.

        There are many ways to progress, but all of them will be unpopular, at least in some circles. I think environmental progressives are likely to be impediments to success as well.

        We could, for example, allow self-interested corporations and banks run the show, given that they have greater influence than many local and state governments. Of course, that has the drawback that local choices and interests will be disregarded. But it’s precisely that domination of local interests in this case which will overcome local NIMBYism.

        We could pass, as Germany had for a time, a federal law saying local states and towns could not overrule placement of wind, solar, and storage. That might not be Constitutional (and, so, again, as I’ve often argued, the U.S. Constitution may not be able to solve this) and it would have a tough time passing Congress, even among Democrats.

        We could say locals could move to block solar and wind and storage, but, then, they would have to pay to do so, compensating others for losing what they insisted they would be giving up if the solar, wind, and storage were situated close to them. They could afford it, since most of the opposition comes from wealthy suburbs who claim to not want what they think of as their late 19th century towns being spoiled in view.

        We could do a lot of things. Ultimately, though, given the character of the United States, what will win, IMO, is financial self interest. And, also IMO, parts of the U.S. will be very late to the game. We may even be voted by international organizations as a Carbon worshipping pariah.

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