ORIGINAL REPORTING: The Biden Energy Transition
Fact Checking Trump’s and Biden’s Energy Transition Plans
Herman K. Trabish, Oct. 26, 2020 (cacurrent)
In the presidential candidates’ final debate, President Trump said Vice President Biden’s energy plan could cost tens of millions of jobs. Wind is “extremely expensive” and solar “doesn’t quite have it yet,” he added. Trump avoided answering a question about the health impacts of polluting industries.
There is “a moral obligation” to address the climate crisis and transition to net zero emissions electricity by 2035, Biden countered. That will create “millions of new good paying jobs” as polluting industries are transitioned to wind and solar.
Under an analysis of the candidates’ plans by the U.C. Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy 2035 Report, its “No New Policy” scenario can represent the White House plan because it is based on current policies and 55% emissions-free electricity in 2035, said Quantum Energy founder and research scientist Daniel Howard. The report’s “90% Clean” scenario, which assesses feasibility of achieving 90% emissions-free electricity by 2035, can represent the Biden plan.
The 2035 study modeled Biden’s proposed transition by 2035 to a generation mix of 70% wind and solar, 20% hydropower and nuclear, and 10% natural gas. It concluded the proposal would protect reliability, add 500,000 more jobs every year, avoid hundreds of billions of dollars in health and environmental costs, and would lower wholesale electricity costs 10%. In the debate, the president condescendingly raised doubts about those projections but Howard’s study and the 2035 study show those doubts are baseless.
The Biden environmental and health policy costs would total $592 billion and decline substantially when a 90% emissions-free infrastructure was in place in 2035. Total health and environmental costs under Trump policies were projected to be $969 billion and they would be unlikely to change because emissions and pollutants would change little, Howard said.
That is the key finding, he said. The $810 billion total cost of Biden’s policies through 2035 are 30% less than the $1.161 trillion total cost of Trump policies. Once 90% of emissions and pollutants from electricity generation are eliminated, “it will be far cheaper.” And “if we don’t make that change, we are going to face devastating impacts from the climate crisis on the quality of life of our children and grandchildren.” click here for more