Fact Check: Biden’s ‘Green’ Energy Policy Has a California Problem

California blackouts (App Gomes / AFP / Getty)
Apu Gomes / AFP / Getty

CLAIM: Joe Biden’s plan for addressing climate change will create “green” jobs and a “clean energy economy.”

VERDICT: UNLIKELY. Biden’s plan to eliminate fossil fuels in electricity generation by 2035 cannot be achieved.

This week, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) told his state — and his party — that they needed to “sober up” about the potential of renewable energy sources like solar and wind power to manage the needs of an advanced economy.

Newsom explained that the state was short of power because the wind was not blowing, and because solar power was not available as the sun went down — right as demand peaked for electricity as the state struggled with a major heat wave.

He went on to say that while he remained committed to fulfilling California’s law mandating 100% renewable energy by 2045, the state needed “backup” and “insurance” because “green” energy sources were simply not reliable enough.

The timing was unfortunate for Democrats, who used the third night of the Democratic National Convention to push their climate change agenda, among other core left-wing issues, such as gun control.

Biden ran in 2008 on a promise to protect “clean coal.” But under pressure from the left — especially Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-CA), author of the “Green New Deal,” co-sponsored by Biden’s running mate — he shifted radically to the left in 2020. He promised to “eliminate” fossil fuels, for example, at the second Democratic primary debate — including the use of “fracking.” (Biden tried to walk back that pledge this year, when he was interviewed in Pennsylvania.)

He appointed Ocasio-Cortez as an adviser, and has adopted a version of her “Green New Deal,” promising to eliminate fossil fuels in electricity generation by 2035 — just five years later than Ocasio-Cortez first demanded, and ten years sooner than California, the most ambitious “green” state.

But things are not going well in California. And the “green jobs” Democrats promise simply are not there — just like they were not there when Biden oversaw the Obama administration’s stimulus, with high-profile “green” failures like Solyndra.

Democrats call themselves the party of “science” on climate change, because they take the issue seriously — but when it comes to the science of energy production, they continue to ignore physics, economics, and the evidence of past failures.

It is theoretically possible for Biden’s plan to create jobs and cleaner energy. But that would depend on doing things the way the Trump administration has done them, not the way Biden and the Democrats are proposing to do. Fracking and the shift to natural gas have allowed the U.S. to become the world’s number one oil producer while growing the economy and reducing emissions. Biden’s proposal does include nuclear power, which is another way to produce more energy and burn less carbon. But that is not what the left calls “green.”

California’s warning to “sober up” is an indictment of Biden’s policy.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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