Wonder What Build Back Better Looks Like? See California

February 15, 2022

by Jim Breslo

President Biden has not given up on his “Build Back Better” bill, despite Senator Joe Manchin repeatedly stating it is dead. That’s because the multi-trillion-dollar bill contains the dreams of the globalist left elite and progressives like Senator Bernie Sanders and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Build Back Better was not coined by Biden or his campaign. It comes primarily from the United Nations and its 2015 “Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction.”

The U.N. laid out “risk reduction measures” to address climate change which included “restoration of physical infrastructure and societal systems” and “revitalization of livelihoods, economies and the environment.” All of this is a fancy way of saying government taking control of the economy in the name of fighting climate change.

California embarked on such a plan years ago. In California there is no Joe Manchin to put the brakes on it. Democrats hold super majorities in both state houses, the Governor’s office, and every other statewide seat. So, let’s look at what California has implemented in the name of fighting climate change. Here are just some of California’s climate laws and programs:

Cap and Trade Program

Yes, the program that Al Gore has been touting for decades but was too radical for the United States to adopt has been up and running for years in California. It requires refineries and large facilities to buy credits at auctions based upon the amount of their emissions, which is just a fancy way of taxing emissions. It generated about $4 billion last year. Who really pays? California residents, of course. Who receives? California bureaucrats.

Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund

This is where the many billions of dollars from the cap-and-trade program are sent. The fund allocates the revenue to “green” projects, such as California’s “bullet train.” The train was originally planned to go from San Francisco to Los Angeles, but due to exorbitant costs has now been scaled back to go from Modesto to Bakersfield, earning it the nickname “the train to nowhere.”

Climate Change Scoping Plan

This is the state’s plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to a level 40 percent below the emission levels of over 30 years ago by mandating the use of expensive renewable energy.

Low Carbon Fuel Standard

This requires transportation fuel producers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, from extraction to mining to end use. It is no surprise, therefore, that California has the highest gas prices in the country (higher even than Hawaii).

Renewables Portfolio Standard

This requires utilities to get 60 percent of their energy from renewables (wind, solar, hydro, bio). As a result, California has the fifth highest electricity costs in the country. Nuclear power, despite emitting no greenhouse gas, does not count as renewable energy, and California has shut down such plants.

Green Building Standards

New buildings must be built in a way that reduces energy use and many old buildings must be retrofitted. As a result, California has the second highest construction costs, behind only Hawaii.

Advanced Clean Cars Program

This seeks to achieve “mass adoption” of electronic vehicles by 2025 and promote electronic charging stations.

Transformative Climate Communities Program

This is the “equity” piece of California’s “green new deal.” (What’s a progressive proposal without equity at the center?) It provides grants to “under resourced communities” to fund green initiatives. (For those who contend the Paris Climate Accords are a disguised global redistribution of wealth scheme, this program provides fodder.)

GHG Emission Inventory

This is a program to track and monitor all greenhouse gas emissions in the state.

To implement all of this, you need a lot of regulation. Here is a list of some of the many regulators involved:

  • California Air Resources Board
  • California Public Utilities Commission
  • California Energy Commission
  • California Environmental Protection Agency
  • California Natural Resources Agency
  • Governor’s Office of Planning and Research
  • The Strategic Growth Council
  • California Independent System Operator
  • CalRecycle
  • California Department of Food and Agriculture

The cost of these policies is felt mostly be California’s poor and middle class. A wealthy person does not care if it costs an extra dollar for a gallon of gas, or an extra $100 a month for utilities.

One must wonder then, what is the goal of these complex and expensive policies? They will do nothing to impact climate change without a reciprocal deal with China. China emits about 30 percent of the world’s greenhouse gasses, more than all the developed countries combined! It is estimated that 25 percent of California’s pollution comes from China! Yet California has decided to burden its own economy with these burdensome measures without seeking anything in return from China.

Biden’s Build Back Better also seeks no such concessions. So, what is this really all about? For that, we go back to the United Nations conference.

As the U.N. put it, you use a “disaster” (say, an alleged impending global catastrophe, or perhaps a global pandemic) to “reshape and transform an economy,” and an entire civil society. For those in California, the transformation is well underway. For the rest of America: Thank God for Joe Manchin (for now).

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