Democrats don’t realize that global warming is something they could win on. Recent Pew research shows there are enough Republicans that care — it’s obviously not the majority but a significant percentage know it is coming. Swing that block into your camp and boom, you win. Even in red states, most see the writing on the wall, and a lot of those in denial have a direct financial reason to cling to fossil fuels.
To win, all the Democrats have to do is embrace economist Bob Pollin’s idea of A Just Transition.
It is cheap. It is the right thing to do. And it is ONE POLICY that could completely change the game and help the Democrats sweep in ’22 and ‘24.
But they’ll never do it.
Democrats need Wall Street and private equity money, and if you dig deeper, you see that big oil is actually, in large part, owned by Wall Street and private equity. That’s one of the reasons Democrats talk a big game but are so damn slow on climate change. In the words of journalist Paul Jay and others, “they are between a BlackRock and a hard place.”
They want to go green but their campaign donations keep them from embracing real solutions.
The Just Transition
In a nutshell, the proposal is to guarantee the salaries of all the workers in the fossil fuel industries for several years. And not only fossil fuel but also the ancillary industries that rely on that income, right down to gas station attendants.
The obvious next question is, how much does it cost? Pollin has run the numbers and it would cost the US federal government three billion dollars a year to implement. That is next to nothing. Next to nothing to guarantee the pension, wages, and benefits for the workers who are affected by the green transition.
Not only that, but the price tag also includes, like I said, the ancillary services around fossil fuels like transport, necessary training to get them a job in the green economy, and covers relocation expenses: all for three billion dollars a…