St. Patrick’s Day is a great excuse to think green
As the horror of Russia’s war in Ukraine continues, much of our attention has focused on the various ways to starve the Russian economy in hopes of defeating Vladimir PoutineVladimir Vladimirovich PutinRussian journalist explains why she staged anti-war protest on live TV CNN anchor breaks down talking to Ukrainian father whose family was killed overnight Defense and National Security — Presented by AM General — More weapons but no planes for Ukraine MORE or, at the very least, causing him to change course. As one of the world’s largest oil distributors, the restrictions on Russian oil companies are a major step in the right direction, even if Europe is still holding back from a full ban for now.
This inevitably raised questions centered on how we can fill the void left by the Russian gas industry. And even though it’s only a small percentage of the oil the United States imports and has been relatively easy to cut, it’s still barrels that we have to find or fill with our own product. The expectation – and what we have seen so far – is that the fossil fuel industry will ramp up production to fill the void. Oil prices have fallen and are now about $96 a barrelbut gasoline prices are not keeping pace with the decline and soon the average price could top $5 a gallon, according to some estimates.
The White House took the opportunity to talk about the benefits of electric vehicles, which are a cornerstone of President BidenJoe Biden Irish Prime Minister tests positive for COVID-19 during visit to DC CNN anchor breaks down speaking to Ukrainian father whose family was killed Graham presents resolution urging Biden to help send jets in Ukraine MOREclimate policy, as well as other clean energy alternatives. And the greenest of all the holidays, St. Patrick’s Day, seems like the appropriate time to discuss the importance of going green for the environment — and the health of America’s economy.
The partisan disparity over the effects of climate change has always been a headache. The environment is one of the only issues affecting Americans at all levels.
There are lead pipes poisoning Americans’ drinking water in all 50 states, and industrial polluters are dumping dangerous toxins during storms so government watchdogs can’t catch them. We know that nine out of 10 people breathe polluted air and that about a third of all deaths from stroke, lung cancer and heart disease can be attributed to air pollution. We know that increased flooding will cost the United States $40 billion a year by 2050 and that, according to the United Nations, climate change poses the greatest threat modern society has ever faced.
Yet not a single Republican in Congress would support Biden’s Build Back Better plan, which was heavily climate-focused. In fact, they made inane comments such as Biden “bowing to all this environmentalism as a religion and climate change as a god,” as Sen does. Marsha BlackburnMarsha BlackburnGOP White House hopes under Supreme Court spotlight GOP calls for postponement of Ukraine spending, aid vote (R-Tenn.) argued Tuesday.
The senator is obviously touching on hyperbole, but the reality is that there are good reasons to pander to environmentalism: the physics of climate change is unforgiving. Biden and his administration understand this and have developed an agenda to deal with the moment.
Consider the green benefits of the bipartisan infrastructure bill. Clean water is on the way for many Americans. The administration is making a $55 billion investment to expand access to clean water for households, businesses, schools and daycares and eliminate lead service lines in communities across the country. There’s also money to tackle legacy pollution by cleaning up Superfund sites and brownfields, reclaiming abandoned mines, and plugging orphan oil and gas wells.
Dozens of House Democrats are pushing the Biden administration to restart negotiations on the climate provisions of the Build Back Better plan — and for good reason. About $550 billion was aimed at tackling climate change and would be spent on important things like researching and developing low-carbon energy technologies like clean hydrogen fuels and removing carbon dioxide from the environment. ‘atmosphere. Clean energy tax credits, which would go to companies that install wind, solar, geothermal, battery and other clean energy technologies over the next decade, would be a huge economic boon for companies that would take this step.
As we mentioned, electric vehicles (EVs) are a central part of the Biden plan – a potential solution to reducing our dependence on oil. Price has always been a concern when it comes to going electric. And while Kelley Blue Book estimates an electric vehicle will cost about $10,000 more than the industry average, incentives can drastically reduce the cost. There is a $2,500 to $7,500 tax credit from the federal government and lower fuel costs, which puts electric vehicles at 60% of the cost of operation compared to the average internal combustion engine vehicle. This includes the cost of charging. Naturally, these vehicles need their own infrastructure, and the government will invest $7.5 billion to help build the first national network of electric vehicle charging stations along road corridors to facilitate long-distance travel. , with an emphasis on serving rural and disadvantaged communities.
There are also policies aimed at overhauling the industrial sector to reduce carbon pollution. How can we make steel, concrete, chemicals and other industrial products in a zero-carbon way? Fossil fuels will take a hit. And the government is ready to step in where the private sector has not, to do things like boost hydrogen production. The Department of Energy is determined to reduce the cost of manufacturing hydrogen by 80% over the next decade.
These are all things that are possible with the support of Biden’s climate agenda. They can make a huge difference to the environment and have quantifiable economic benefits when considering the health care, social and infrastructure costs if we do nothing.
So when you put on your green gear today or take a sip of green beer, think about how much the environment needs us. Americans have good reason to pay attention to the crisis in Ukraine and to domestic issues like inflation. But that doesn’t mean we can afford to put climate change aside for an easier time. The earth cannot wait, literally.
Jessica Tarlov is head of research at Bustle Digital Group and a Fox News contributor. She got her doctorate. at the London School of Economics in political science. Follow her on Twitter @JessicaTarlov.
Antjuan Seawright is a Democratic political strategist, founder and CEO of Blueprint Strategy LLC, a CBS News political contributor, and a senior visiting fellow at Third Way. Follow him on Twitter @antjuansea.