Step One: Change America’s energy supply structure so that every American can choose where their power comes from (we already have this capability).
So, for example, when you received your electric bill, you would check off the source of your power, sort of like an a la carte menu, which would include (and would be varied by region) solar, hydropower, wind, geothermal and any other actually clean and renewable energy. This would perhaps initially include nuclear power if there is a reactor near you, but that would be phased out since nuclear energy is not clean and not renewable. We could, just for the hell of it, throw in the option of oil and gas as an energy source, but it would be at an unsubsidized or market rate. This pays lip service to what every conservative SAYS they so strongly believe: letting the market “decide.”
And if you’re thinking, “Well, oil and gas will be the cheapest,” that’s only because they’re subsidized to the tune of $10 million dollars a minute. In fact, every single one of us is subsidizing the fossil fuel industry, which is using the planet like it’s own personal toilet, which has made the fossil fuel industry the most profitable business on Earth.
So, oil and gas will still be an option but will NOT be cheap since….
Step Two: Fossil fuel subsidies are halted. Immediately. As in right away. We are NOT talking about a gradual phase out or any other continuance of this obscene corporate welfare. You know…subsidies, which are what Republicans despise, except they like to call it “welfare.” In the words of literally every GOP candidates for President and Republican in Congress: Hand-outs are over, you bunch of slackers. The gravy train has run out of track. Oh wait. That’s what they say about Sesame Street.
But let’s get back to Step Two.
Step One and Step Two sound like a fossil fuel death sentence because they are. It really would be that easy. The fossil fuel industry would, almost overnight, go the way of the dinosaur (poetic justice). And it could be achieved with nothing more than an old Quickbooks accounting program and a pen. The underwriting, subsidizing and assistance for dirty energy would THEN get applied to building the new energy infrastructure.
And this would also be an incredible jobs program, as opposed to the absolutely fictitious “jobs” created by projects like the Keystone XL Pipeline, which wouldn’t actually have created enough jobs to put together a soccer team.
Step Three: And the final step would be no new permits for fossil fuel exploration or extraction, and that includes permits to frack for natural gas. Just announcing this policy would effectively issue the final death blow almost overnight because investing, loans, financing, etc., would all dry up immediately, killing investor interest. And no new research money allocated to fossil fuel energy or on nuclear power (and there are BILLIONS of dollars spent on this every year, by the way), except when it is spent towards figuring how to clean up the mess that’s been made, while also safely dismantling and storing the by-products of the nuclear reactors, closing up all those wells, and repurposing the extraction equipment and infrastructure. That effectively neuters the Department of the Interior, who are utterly useless anyway (when they’re not literally in bed with the fossil fuel industry), AND lops off a huge segment of the Department of Energy, who do nothing as far as I can tell except actively help destroy the environment and keep the fossil fuel industry on life support.
What ARE we going to do with all the money we save, even after building an actually useful power grid?
We are going to once again use good old Quickbooks and Scoot that Loot over to the Department of Education, the EPA (so they can afford to actually grow a pair), Social Security, Medicare, and NASA.
I’ve now created a (real) jobs program, downsized the government (Bye-bye Sally Jewell and Ernest “Bobblehead” Moniz. You guys were useless) and began the end of the fossil fuel industry for real, instead of perpetuating the decades-long swan song which only delays the inevitable.
Boiled down to 3 simple steps:
1) Allow Americans to choose their own power source;
2) Stop fossil fuel subsidies;
3) No new permitting of fossil fuel/dirty energy projects.
No studies, reports, committees or cocktail parties are needed to implement or verify the feasibility of my energy plan because I guarantee, with 100% certainty, that every aspect of what I’ve proposed has been researched and studied, ad nauseum, by someone, somewhere.
Since we’re basically out of time, as a species, as our politicians have let the clock run down, let’s consider this a “Hail Mary.”
Further reading about fossil fuel subsidies:
IMF Working Paper on subsidies;
A short history of fossil fuel subsidies.