Never let a climate crisis pass you by. This is how politicians and special interests approach climate change when they want to use policies that are purportedly designed for fighting climate change to reward political allies.
Last year, as Congress was finalizing the “Build Back Better” Budget proposalThey included a long list tax credits to encourage renewable energy. For every kilowatt-hour of electricity generated, the Production Tax Credit (PTC), for example, rewards the generation and use of certain types of renewable power. The proposal offered a credit of 0.5 cents per kWh, and a “bonus” credit of 2.5 cents per kWh. To receive that bonus, generators must “pay prevailing wages during the construction phase and during the first 10 years of operation and if registered apprenticeship requirements are met.”
The bonus offered for following union rules, using union labor, was five times greater than the incentive to produce renewable energy.
With so much rhetoric about the “climate crisis,” how did Governor Inslee’s Senior Climate Advisor, Anna Lising, respond to the disparity between incentives for renewables and special interest rewards? With glee.
“Yassss labor provisions!!” she said in a September 12, 2021 email, looping in the governor’s senior labor policy advisor. She went on to note that there was “a Important tax incentive for projects with strong labor provisions” (italics hers).
Instead of spending resources on maximizing the generation of renewable energy or reducing CO2 emissions, the proposal was to siphon off funding at the rate of five dollars for political allies for every one dollar to fight the “climate crisis.”
Clinton advisor Paul Begala Once said, “The budget is a profoundly moral document.” Quoting the Bible, he said, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be.” For Governor Inslee’s senior climate advisor and the authors of the Build Back Better budget, their heart is with political allies far more than it is with fighting climate change.