Democrats dodged an important question: Who pays for trillion-dollar climate change plans?

By Michael Bastasch

Democratic presidential candidates eagerly touted their costly climate change plans during the first primary debate, but tip-toed around the questions of how they would pay for trillions in spending.

Roughly seven minutes of Wednesday night’s primary debate were devoted to climate change questions. Democratic presidential candidates were eager to tout their climate change plans, but tip-toed around the question of how to pay for them.

Wikimedia Commons/DonkeyHotey

2020 Democrats 2020 Democrats Cory Booker, Julian Castro, Bill de Blasio, John Delaney, Tulsi Gabbard, Jay Inslee, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O’Rourke, Timothy Ryan, Elizabeth Warren

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren said their plans would create millions of green jobs, with Warren saying there will be a $23 trillion green product market to take advantage of in the future.

However, neither Inslee nor Warren put a price tag on their climate change plans during the debate. Inslee did say his plan could save Miami from climate change.

Inslee put forward a $9 trillion plan to tackle climate change in May, and Warren endorsed the idea of the Green New Deal, which experts estimate could cost tens of trillions of dollars. Democratic climate change plans range in cost from $2 trillion to $10 trillion.

Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro dodged when asked by MSNBC’s Chuck Todd “who pays for the mitigation to climate?” Castro, instead, talked about his record as San Antonio mayor trying to phase out coal plants and actions as HUD secretary.

“And if I’m elected president, the first thing that I would do, like Senator Klobuchar also has said, is sign an executive order recommitting us to the Paris Climate Accord so that we lead again,” Castro said, referring to Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s promise to recommit to the Paris agreement.

Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan also dodged a question from Todd on how to pay for “climate mitigation.”

“Well, there is a variety of different ways to pay. We talked about different ways of raising revenue. And I think we’ve got to build our way out of this and grow our way out of this,” Ryan said before quickly changing the subject.

Ryan went on to argue Democrats will only beat Republicans by reconnecting with American workers. Former Maryland Rep. John Delaney touted carbon tax legislation he introduced while in Congress — but still, he didn’t mention cost.

“You can’t put a price on carbon, raise energy prices, and not give the money back to the American people,” Delaney said. “My proposal, which is put a price on carbon, give a dividend back to the American people. It goes out one pocket, back in the other.”

Delaney’s plan, known as a “carbon tax-and-dividend,” would tax carbon dioxide emissions, raising the price of energy, but revenues collected would be given back to taxpayers in the form of a dividend.

Some Republicans and Democrats have embraced the idea, but most conservative groups oppose it on grounds it would drastically raise the price of nearly every good, not just energy, and only be feasible through the creation of a new entitlement.

So why are Democrats hesitant to lay out who pays for their global warming policies? Polling indicates that while Americans are generally supportive of green energy and efforts to tackle climate change, few want to pay over $10 a month.

A Reuters-Ipsos poll found only 34% would be okay with taxes increasing $100 a year to fight global warming, and just 29% would accept $100 a year in higher electricity costs to pay for climate change mitigation.

Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke seemed to be the only candidate on stage to put a price tag on his climate change agenda — $5 trillion. But Beto still did not outline how he would raise those funds.

“We’re going to mobilize $5 trillion in this economy over the next 10 years,” O’Rourke said.

“We’re going to free ourselves from a dependence on fossil fuels, and we’re going to put farmers and ranchers in the driver’s seat, renewable and sustainable agriculture, to make sure that we capture more carbon out of the air and keep more of it in the soil, paying farmers for the environmental services that they want to provide,” O’Rourke added.

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8 thoughts on “Democrats dodged an important question: Who pays for trillion-dollar climate change plans?

  1. Surprising Summer Chill Baffles Global Warming Alarmists
    Guest essay by Vijay Jayaraj

    A surprising late-June chill broke records for lowest temperatures and made life miserable for many across the world. From Denver, Colorado, in the United States, to Melbourne in Australia, the mercury dropped precipitously.

    Many people in Colorado woke up to what would be the state’s coldest first day of summer in 90 years. Up to two feet of snow fell in some places, making authorities issue a winter weather advisory on the first day of summer. Denver especially has been at the center of focus. Record cold caught city dwellers off guard. This year has been the “city’s coldest start to a calendar year since 1983.”

    The National Weather Service reported the coldest maximum temperature during the second half of June since 1992 at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, and news outlets reported that it was unusual for the windy city to experience such low temperatures in the beginning of summer.

    On the other side of the world, Australia saw many cities record their coldest first few weeks of winter. Melbourne, on June 23, recorded its lowest maximum for the date since 1985.

    And back in the Northern Hemisphere, central England experienced similar historic lows in June, although the temperature was forecasted to pick up the following week due to a heatwave.

    But the cooling observed is not just limited to the surface temperatures.

    There has been a remarkable cooling in the global oceans, especially the Atlantic and the Pacific. This was totally unexpected, as scientists had forecast a strong warming in the oceans for this month, a weather condition called El Niño.

    Experts are divided on what this cold phase actually points to. It might be just a one-off, localized, short-term weather phenomenon, or it might reflect a longer, global-scale climate shift.

    Either way it contradicts alarmists’ claims of a warming world. If it were a mere weather phenomenon, then it would mean global warming would result in cold phases (like those in June, May, and earlier months this year), not warmer phases, as claimed by the alarmists. That means climate change will result in cold phases like the ones we’ve been observing in the past two years.

    In contrast, if these cold phases are an indicator of a longer climatic shift, then there is no drastic warming but a global cooling.

    We might be headed to what NASA describes as a period of “solar minimum,” with temperatures akin to the Little Ice Age that froze Northern Europe in the 16th century.

    In its official June 12 communication, NASA stated, “The Sun’s activity rises and falls in an 11-year cycle. The forecast for the next solar cycle says it will be the weakest of the last 200 years. The maximum of this next cycle – measured in terms of sunspot number, a standard measure of solar activity level – could be 30 to 50% lower than the most recent one.”

    Regardless of whether these cold phases are precursors to a longer cooling period or not, late-June cooling (like similar cooling periods in the past two years) certainly runs contrary to the claim that the world is getting hotter or warmer every year.

    After the brief spike in temperatures during the El Niño-driven warmth of 2016, temperatures have fallen globally. This post-2016 two-year cooling resonates and coheres with the overall lull in the warming that scientists have observed during the past two decades, in which spikes in global temperature occurred only when El Niño was active.

    It will be interesting to observe how the summer plays out and whether the solar inactivity predicted by NASA will make the 2019–20 winter colder than the ones before.



    Hundreds of blue-collar workers assembled at the Oregon state capitol Thursday, protesting a climate change bill they believe would cripple their respective industries.

    Farmers, loggers, ranchers and truckers rallied in Salem to protest HB2020, a cap & trade bill which they fear would cut jobs and increase fuel prices.

    The bill was first challenged earlier this month by Republican lawmakers, who defied the state’s Democrat Governor Kate Brown by walking out in protest and refusing to show up for a vote.

    “We want to show Oregon State legislators that we are standing with the Senators who walked out and opposed HB 2020,” reads a Facebook post organizing the rally.

    One logger, Jon Golly, told local news he was thankful Republicans staged the walk out:
    “We want to support the 11 senators who took the courageous step to shut this thing down and give people time to think. This bill affects everyone. It’s not just the timber industry. The price of goods and services all go up when you start raising the price of fuel.”

    According to the Facebook post, the group is concerned that “Cap-and-trade would give unelected bureaucrats unprecedented power over key segments of Oregon’s economy and provide little to no accountability for the millions of dollars raised by the program.”
    Video from the rally showed hundreds of semi-trucks lined up along Salem streets with a massive crowd gathered outside the capitol building.

    The rally took place despite expectations HB2020 seems doomed to fail, with the Senate president expressing Tuesday Democrats don’t have the votes.
    “Even though on Tuesday the Senate President announced HB 2020 was dead, nothing is certain until the end of session Saturday,” the rallying Facebook post reads.

    Fox 12 Oregon reports that since Gov. Brown ordered state police to locate the missing senators and bring them back to the floor for a vote, they are incurring fines each day they are absent:
    “Because of that, they are still being fined $500 each day they are absent. So far, together, they’ve racked up more than $13,000 in fines.”

    See the related video at the following weblink:

  3. An even more important question is who pays forV VERMONT’s CEP 90%RE by 2050?

    The Vermont Comprehensive Energy Plan, CEP, goal aims to “transform” the Vermont economy. It would require investments of about $33.3 billion, about $1 billion per year for 33 years, during the 2017 – 2050 period, per Vermont Energy Action Network 2015 Annual Report. The CEP could not be implemented without a very high carbon tax and other taxes, surcharges and fees of at least $970 million per year for 33 years.

  4. SOCIALIST Bernie Sanders, with three houses, and a $70,000 Audie (supporting the GERMAN worker), and flying FOR FREE on private planes while spewing CO2 (his foundation is buying carbon offsets, a cost of “doing business”), and not liking a proper barrier to protect the US southern border (enticing future Democrat voters to enter), and having his own tax-exempt foundation (don’t pay me, as I would have to pay income taxes, pay my foundation!), and promising more and more goodies to his favored supporters, including forgiveness of student debt (setting a poor example for future behavior) to raise his poll numbers. He is campaigning for even more US-style Socialism to benefit his foundation, a la Clintons and a la Gore, all smooth-operating, self-serving hucksters!!

  5. Democrats want open borders, and if there are walls, they want them to be porous, i.e., kept in poor condition, easily climbed over, climbed through and crawled under.

    Nancy Pelosi, worth well over $500 million, has a very high wall around her Beverly Hills compound. It keeps out the unwanted riff-raff trying to visit her.

    There is a whole infrastructure, on both sides of the border, of Democrat-supported government programs to help legal and illegal immigrations get drivers licenses, voting rights, permanent residency and work permits (green cards) and citizenship.

    The folks who run these programs, and those who benefit from them will vote Democrat forever.

    It is all about getting, and maintaining, and permanently enlarging the Democrat power base at the expense of the Republicans, as has happened in California, the 100% RE state with solar panels mandated on every roof, and wannabe copycat, but too poor, Vermont.

    I hope Trump will declare a national emergency and get a proper, 30-ft tall, steel wall built. It is al least 40 years overdue.

    The French are leading the way in Europe with their yellow vest protests. That movement will become unstoppable the more it is resisted by governments, which are using water guns, rubber bullets, pepper spray and teargas to suppress demonstrations.

    The French government enacting anti-protest laws will make matters much worse.

    France needs a 25% surtax on fashion, perfumes, cosmetics, upscale watches and jewelry, upscale cars, upscale air travel, upscale cruise ship travel, private planes, and eliminate the tax and expense evasion of company cars.

    The last thing the French working people need is another carbon tax on gasoline, diesel fuel, fuel oil and propane. In Paris, gasoline costs the equivalent of $9.00/gallon, of which 70% is taxes.

    How much of a TIN EAR does Le Roi Macron has?

    Does he not get it?

  6. Who pays? They believe there is nothing so dull as stating the obvious. We ALL will. That’s too bitter of a pill to bring up in that distinguished body of freebee advocats. They must think we’re stupid.

  7. They’re good at running their mouths but they can’t pay for any of their proposals. Free health care, free college, carbon taxes etc, etc..
    They know they have no idea on how to pay for this crap and they know it. It’s all about getting the gullible’s votes.. Professional liars.

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