By Lisa Friedman and Maggie Astor
April 18, 2019
“For Democrats vying to unseat President Trump, acknowledging climate change is easy. Deciding what to do about it is the hard part.
Among the 18 declared candidates, there is no broad consensus on taxing polluters on their carbon emissions — a measure most experts say is needed to slow global warming. And when it comes to building new nuclear power plants or adding federal regulations, there is even less agreement.
Those divisions were apparent in the candidates’ responses to a new climate policy questionnaire from The New York Times. They unanimously supported remaining in the Paris Agreement and restoring Obama-era policies that Mr. Trump has abandoned. But scientists are clear that preventing catastrophic climate change will require going well beyond those policies.
While the candidates agreed with that assessment, few offered detailed strategies for getting it done. Some have supported the Green New Deal in principle, but that congressional resolution was more a statement of ideals than a plan of action.”
David Lindsay: Huh, Corey Booker scored higher in my book than Pete Buttigieg, because he is for nuclear energy, which is probably a requirement of short term, transitional success.
@David Lindsay Jr. I might have to amend my comment based on the following piece in the NYT today A Market-Driven Green New Deal? We’d Be Unstoppable By AMORY B. LOVINS and RUSHAD R. NANAVATTY April 18, 2019 Any serious energy transformation will need to harness America’s powerful and creative economic engine. The New York Times These writers report that for the Tax and Dividend idea, 3500 economists have signed a declaration that the dividend should just go to all Americans, to stop opposition to the bill. Also, several States in the US are decommissioning older nuclear plants, and replacing them with cheaper Wind and solar. I will need to see more data support, but that is their report. Does wind always keep the lights on at night? In Scotland, they are keeping the light on with under water tidal turbines.
Here is a comment I liked:
Thanks for giving some honest and rational voices a hearing. My own experience confirms that everyone is very happy to support “clean energy” but very few politicians or business leaders are willing to do the exact thing we must do, which is to restrict fossil fuel use. Your subheading, “Some economic pain is inevitable” is questionable, however, and risks feeding the policy skepticism that seems to be universal among NYT journalists. In my opinion, this policy skepticism is even more damaging than the missteps of the press in covering the 2016 campaign. Economists have studied revenue-neutral carbon taxes and found very minimal impacts on GDP. With some designs, the impact is positive (though small). Yes, coal miners and coal barons will need to find other jobs, just like the farriers and buggy makers of yore, but resisting this policy will be vastly more expensive (in terms of life as well as money) than adopting it. The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (H.R.763) is a very smart policy that threads the needle, providing a strong price signal to incentivize decarbonizaiton and innovation while also providing a monthly dividend that more than compensates low- and moderate- income families from rising prices. Maggie Astor and Lisa Friedman, please consider learning more about this bill and featuring it in future pieces.