Published on December 11th, 2017 | by Zachary Shahan0
10 Reasons The Republican Attacks On Clean Energy & Electric Vehicles Are So Smart
December 11th, 2017 by Zachary Shahan
Republicans are interesting creatures. There are the voters, and then there are the politicians. The voters like things like clean air, jobs, Social Security, and ice cream. The politicians, on the other hand, like to let corporations pollute as much as they want, have been known to crash a global economy from time to time1, seem to always be looking for a way to “legitimately” cut holes in the social safety net (note: they’re working on a super clever attempt to do this right now), and like to melt ice cream via flamethrowers when the ice cream eater isn’t looking.
But hey, in the spirit of Monday, below are 10 reasons the latest Republican attacks on clean energy and electric vehicles might actually be a good thing.
1. The oil, coal, and natural gas industries simply haven’t had a fair enough head start via government subsidies. The trillions in subsidies they’ve received from the US government in the past several decades are not enough to put them on equal footing with renewable energy and electric vehicles today. Thus, it only makes sense to cut cleantech subsidies and give fossil fuels more subsidies for the time being.
2. While many people — the vast majority of them — don’t like pollution, some people prefer to breathe in potentially cancer-causing pollutants. It’s not fair that those people normally don’t get a say. It’s unfair that people who like pollution are always on the losing end of the conversation. They have a right to freedom of speech as well! Since the pollution lovers don’t get enough airtime, we should just cut any governmental support for clean technologies. That should balance things out.
3. Taking away subsidies prematurely hurts investor confidence in the government and crushes medium- and long-term investment plans. This is good since it’s the government’s role to indiscriminately attack and destabilize the investment community. Well, it’s good when it comes to renewable energy and electric vehicles. It’s not good when it comes to oil, gas, coal, and nuclear, all of which should continue to get subsidies.
4. Putting government money into young and quickly developing industries increases the chance or extent to which our society will benefit from 21st century technological and economic leadership. If the US supports such industries, that is not really fair to the Chinese. The Chinese are working hard and trying to be practical in order to become a bigger and bigger economic player, so why should we interfere? China deserves a massive economic win in the remainder of the century due to its foresight — and just because it’s China’s turn. Yeah?
5. Air pollution disproportionately hurts lower-income communities. The goal of any good government should be to hurt the lower-income and middle-income masses while giving more money to the super rich. That’s just good governance.
6. A livable climate is super overrated. We’re all going to be living on Mars soon anyway. Why waste time and money on trying to protect Earth and its human inhabitants.
7. Supporting clean energy and electric vehicles would improve our national security and our resilience in the face of various global fuel challenges. That’s just not much fun. It’s much more exciting to put lives at risk via more wars and dependence on foreign imports. (Also, those wars are great for our national debt. Just ask George W. Bush.)
8. Healthy citizens live longer, which means more services and support for those people over time. It’s cheaper and simpler if large numbers of American citizens die prematurely from high levels of pollution and more extreme natural disasters. Duh.
Fossil fuel industry donation charts via Open Secrets.
9. Billionaires and big corporations in the oil, gas, and coal industries put millions of dollars into
buying Republican politicians funding Republican campaigns. It would be a horrible message for the world and a breakdown in our democracy if it turned out billionaires and big corporations couldn’t shape the law of the land in a way that benefited them over others.
10. Come on — the whole world needs to come crashing down in order to instill a little humility. How will we put our collective ego into check if we don’t tank the economy, tank our health, and destroy our climate?