The plan supports electric vehicles, renewable energy, and funding for research. It will grant much needed large government-funded demonstration projects for new and crucial technologies.
When a bill has a lack of focus the first thing that everyone looks for is excessive rewards for special interests. However, this Bill looks to eliminate or at least curb the majority of America’s greenhouse-gas emissions.
The ambition of Mr Biden’s plan would see about $1 trillion over eight years spent on climate-related projects, or about 0.6% of gdp a year (if anything, this is on the low side of most estimates). The teeth to the Bill will come from what Mr Biden has called decarbonising pressure or an energy-efficiency and clean-electricity standard (Senate rules may require it to win a supermajority, which involves a vote from at least ten Republican senators).
Some experts prefer a price on carbon that rises over time. It would in an open market show the costs of fad and emerging technologies and apply to far more industrial processes than a clean-electricity standard ever could. It could also cover some of the costs in regulating cleaner emissions. Politically it would be a budgetary matter and thus would only need a majority vote in the Senate. This proposal would most likely be viewed as a new tax.
Senator Joe Manchin of coal-producing West Virginia has spoken out against a carbon tax, and to get a bill through the Senate even with just a simple majority would be an impressive political exercise. The push for the tax would most likely come from Republican legislators who are committed to climate action, fiscal responsibility, effective legislation and standing up to their base.
The fiscal cost of the Bill is monstrous and the goals maybe idealistic, however it is not so high as the one that will be imposed on the country, and the world, by our past and potentially future failure to take real action on the defining global and human issue of the age.