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Thu Jan 29, 2015, 07:43 AM

Anti-Koch: The Fight For Green Energy is a Fight for the 99 Percent

Anti-Koch: The Fight For Green Energy is a Fight for the 99 Percent

The fact that this even needs to be said demonstrates that there’s been a breakdown in the democratic process, but we’ll say it anyway: Our number one priority should be protecting the planet for future generations. That said, green energy makes sense even if we base our thinking on economic considerations alone.

Energy policies can roughly be divided into two kinds: those that benefit society as a whole, and those that only benefit the very few – the Koch brothers and their ilk.

Guess which kind the GOP supports? Republicans are blocking pro-growth, job-creating green energy investments while pushing a pipeline that would enrich the few at the expense of the many – with potentially disastrous environmental consequences.

If you want to know why, follow the money.

The “99 Percent Plan”

A new report from the Political Economy Research Institute and the Center for American Progress (the “PERI-CAP” report) offers a plan to bring the United States in line with an international emissions-reduction goal: 40 percent reduction of carbon dioxide emissions from 2005 levels by 2035.

You might call it the “99 percent plan,” since its economic benefits would accrue to all income levels, and throughout the economy as a whole....The report projects a net gain of 2.7 million jobs, at all income levels, for a decrease of 1.5 percent in the unemployment rate.

...Republicans are openly hostile to investments of this kind. If they succeed in blocking plans like this one from taking effect, we’ll never see those 2.7 million jobs – or the increases in middle-class income that would accompany a stronger labor market. We’ll lose the net savings in energy costs (after making back the initial investment on an average three-year time frame) and the money that would be freed up for other kinds of spending.

If a plan like this isn’t implemented as part of a global initiative – one it could help set in motion — we’ll spend an estimated $1.5 trillion more every 10 years as the result of unchecked climate change....

In short, even if we set aside our concerns for the future of the planet, the Republicans’ obstructionist approach to green energy policy will cost our nation a great deal of money...

...All of this offers some important lessons. One is that green energy is redistributive, while fossil-fuel investments like the Keystone XL pipeline tend to reinforce inequality.

Another is that the deferred costs of bad energy policy – whether they’re based on a more unstable climate or future disasters – can be hard for people to grasp. The pro-environment/pro-growth movement needs to do a better job of communicating these costs, and the benefits of good energy policy.

We’re also learning that it’s getting harder to defend our economic and environmental interests against the corrupting influence of campaign cash. The struggle for a fairer economy is inseparable from the struggle to protect the planet – and both will be more successful once we’ve removed big money from our political process.

Until then, we’ll have to keep fighting the Koch brothers’ bought-and-paid-for Republican servants – to protect our environment and our economy from projects like Keystone XL, and to promote smart proposals like the PERI-CAP plan.


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Reply Anti-Koch: The Fight For Green Energy is a Fight for the 99 Percent (Original post)
RiverLover Jan 2015 OP
merrily Jan 2015 #1

Response to RiverLover (Original post)

Thu Jan 29, 2015, 09:26 AM

1. I love the fight for green energy,

as long as it is not a boondoggle.

One of the biggest mistakes this country made was not listening to Carter about this--and we have made some big ones. Because of our focus on oil, we have had to tiptoe around nations with shameful, shameful policies.

God forbid we'd gone full bore on conservation, solar energy, etc. from the time Carter said we should, right?

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