Not Our Founding Father’s Infrastructure Bill

My latest at Real Clear Energy.

“And what I’m proud to say is that is what our forefathers intended,” says Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) about the new and just released infrastructure bill.

That’s quite a divination of what James Madison et al. would have thought about a mammoth 2,700-page, trillion-dollar spending orgy released to the public three days before Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) wants to bring it to a vote.

If you read 675 pages of the bill per day and presuming you had previously memorized all the various extant federal statutes it refers to by U.S. Code section, you’d finish just in time to watch it being voted on.

If you’re thinking maybe a summary would help, think again. Senate Democrats released a summary that covers only about 40% of the bill’s spending.

All this should be enough for any responsible legislator to vote against the bill. But there’s more.

Despite being called an “infrastructure” bill, only about $110 billion (11%) is new spending for traditional infrastructure projects like roads and bridges.

There is, for example, $73 billion in spending to build-out the electricity grid by adding transmission lines for new wind and solar power. But these wind and solar facilities don’t exist and aren’t even on the drawing board anywhere.

When plans for these facilities start to take shape they will be opposed and fought over for years and even decades by cynical environmentalists employing NIMBY (not in my backyard) tactics.

Even if the money is spent on transmission lines for actually constructed wind and solar facilities, it will still be a waste since the purpose of the exercise, reducing emissions from electricity generation, will not accomplish anything meaningful according to Joe Biden himself.

There are many more millions and billions for replacing water pipes, subsidizing electric vehicle charging stations, carbon capture and storage, electric buses and ferries, railroads that still can’t pay for themselves and much more.

More than just a waste of money, the bill’s spending has insidious strings attached to advance the green agenda.

So-called “carbon reduction” provisions in the bill will use federal funding to coerce states into coercing metropolitan areas into forcing drivers out of cars and into public transportation.

The bill aims to “reduce traffic congestion” not by building new roads and bridges but by “facilitating the use of alternatives to single occupant vehicle trips, including public transportation facilities, pedestrian facilities, bicycle facilities, and shared or pooled vehicle trips within the State or an area.”

State and local governments will have to “update” their anti-car plans every four years.

There may be more similar provisions in the bill. But there’s only three more days to uncover them.

Republicans appear to have been bought off to some extent with provisions to do studies on hot button issues.

The bill calls for the Biden Department of Energy to review impacts of the President Biden’s decision to kill the Keystone XL pipeline. I wonder how that will turn out.

Then there’s the mandated study of the role of Chinese slave labor in the electric vehicle value chain – rather than the solar panel value chain where the slave labor is actually relied on.

The issue with China and electric vehicles is the dependence of electric vehicle on rare earths mining and processing in China, not slave labor. But the Senate is in too much of a rush to even understand what it is ordering.

What is the hurry to waste money, reduce our standard of living, conduct bogus studies and who knows what else?

I doubt our Founding Fathers intended any of this and there is no evidence any voters did.

Steve Milloy publishers and is the author of “Scare Pollution: Why and How to Fix the EPA.”


August 10, 2021 at 06:18AM

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