Paul Ryan released his budget yesterday. And, in addition to the usual cutting of government programs supporting the middle class in favor of wealthy, global special interests, Ryan pushes for a number of highly damaging policies that would greatly harm America’s future energy and climate security.
Ryan’s Path to Catastrophe includes the following:
1. Cut investment in the development of clean energy sources and systems like: efficiency, solar, wind, and electric vehicles.
2. Continue subsidies for big pollutors like oil, gas, and coal companies. In fact, Ryan’s budget provides far more funding for these polluting, harmful, expensive and depleting sources than he does for renewable energy systems.
3. Slander loan development funding to clean energy companies. Ryan talks up the trouble faced by Solyndra via Chinese solar panel dumping and ignores success stories like SunPower, Tesla Motors and GM’s Chevy Volt.
4. Attack solar projects that produce energy at grid parity to gas and coal. Ryan attacked two southwestern solar projects that are both scheduled to repay their government loans and to produce energy at prices equal to or less than those of dirty fossil energy sources.
5. Attack the EPA’s efforts to reduce carbon pollution. Ryan’s budget attacks efforts to cap and trade carbon emissions in an effort to reduce America’s contribution to the climate change that is now sweltering western states while increasing the frequency of powerful storms like Sandy and Katrina. It is worth noting that cap and trade was first used under the Reagan administration. So Ryan’s descriptions of EPA’s efforts to employ market-based cap and trade as unilateral is little more than inaccurate exaggeration.
6. Approve the Keystone XL Pipeline. Ryan pushes to approve a pipeline that will shackle the US to a very polluting energy source, increase energy prices at home, and ship North American resources to China. Climate scientist James Hansen calls the tar sands Keystone would tap ‘climate change game over.’ Yet Ryan chooses to ignore both sound science and local US interests in favor of putting another dirty product on global markets.
Ryan also seems to have turned a deaf ear to warnings from the Commander of US Naval forces in the Pacific who recently stated that climate change was the greatest risk to security there. Instead, Ryan plays the ignoramus by lampooning the validity of climate science. But facts haven’t gotten in the way of Ryan pushing dreadful climate and economic policy before…