It’s Official: The Democratic Party Platform Supports Abandoning Fossil Fuel Use by 2050Alan Carlin | July 22, 2016
Democrats share a deep commitment to…reducing greenhouse gas emissions more than 80 percent below 2005 levels by 2050; and meeting the pledge President Obama put forward in the landmark Paris Agreement, which aims to keep global temperature increases to “well below” two degrees Celsius and to pursue efforts to limit global temperature increases to 1.5 degrees Celsius. We believe America must be running entirely on clean energy by mid-century.
There is an obvious difference between the first quoted sentence and the last one, but presumably the stricter objective in the last sentence is the binding goal.
The final draft of the Republican Party platform, on the other hand, states that:
The Republican Party is committed to domestic energy independence….The role of public officials must be to encourage responsible development across the board. Unlike the current Administration, we will not pick winners and losers in the energy marketplace. Instead, we will let the free market and the public’s preferences determine the industry outcomes. In assessing the various sources of potential energy, Republicans advocate an all-of-the-above diversified approach, taking advantage of all our American God-given resources. That is the best way to advance North American energy independence….
Coal is a low-cost and abundant energy source with hundreds of years of supply. We look toward the private sector’s development of new, state-of-the-art coal-fired plants that will be low-cost, environmentally responsible, and efficient….
The current Administration – with a President who publicly threatened to bankrupt anyone who builds a coal-powered plant – seems determined to shut down coal production in the United States, even though there is no cost-effective substitute for it or for the hundreds of thousands of jobs that go with it as the nation’s largest source of electricity generation. We will end the EPA’s war on coal and encourage the increased safe development in all regions of the nation’s coal resources, the jobs it produces, and the affordable, reliable energy that it provides for America. Further, we oppose any and all cap and trade legislation.
It would be difficult to imagine a greater contrast between the two platforms on climate. The first envisions very intrusive Federal Government intervention in the energy markets in order to reduce carbon dioxide emissions; the second recommends that the Federal Government allow markets to determine the use of various energy sources except for an interest in achieving national energy independence.
2050 sounds like a long time from now, but such a change to actually end fossil fuel use would require a long lead time given the life of the assets in the housing and other buildings and the transportation sectors, in the highly unlikely case that it could be achieved at all. Since there is no economic, scientific, or environmental basis for government intervention, I strongly favor the Republican Party platform on climate and believe that the Democratic platform would result in an economic disaster.