Sanders, Casten Too Much Negative Energy for Illinois
February 4, 2020 – Bernie Sanders’ campaign has issued an unofficial report that he won the critical Iowa Caucuses. While train-wreck is still being cleared from the track, Americans consider the implications of a socialist as the standard-bearer of a major political party – and the potential impact of the policies he advocates.
According to Politico.com, while Sen. Bernie Sanders has put nationalizing health insurance at the center of his presidential campaign, his proposal to fight climate change also calls for a government takeover of a fundamental segment of the economy — fossil fuel and electricity production.
Sanders has laid out a $16 trillion climate change plan that would transition U.S. electricity generation away from fossil fuels to renewable resources like wind, solar and hydropower by 2030. That’s far faster than any other Democratic candidate’s target and sets a pace that rivals, like former Vice President Joe Biden, say is unrealistic.
In fact, according to the Energy Information Administration, we have tripled our consumption of energy over the last 70 years while reducing CO2 emissions over the last 20 years, a reduction projected to be 25% by 2030.
Eighty percent of our energy comes from fossil fuels. This is the result of market innovation, not central planning.
To eliminate fossil fuels on such a timeline is pure, unadulterated folly. It’s actually dangerous.
The Sanders / Casten Impact in Illinois
Since Illinois is rich in natural resources, plans to drastically reduce fossil fuel consumption have major implications for the state.
Sanders’ aggressive plan aligns closely with the steps toward a Green New World that IL Sixth District Congressman Sean Casten advocates. But, those steps would be devastating to Illinois.
According to a report by the American Petroleum Institute, nearly 70,000 Illinois jobs and nearly $4.5 billion in salaries and wages would be eliminated were the Sanders / Casten plan implemented. These are the numbers of those directly employed in just the oil and gas sectors in Illinois. The value these jobs and salaries add to the state’s economy is estimated to be about $15.7 billion. Given the delicate condition of the state’s economy, the loss of $16 billion would only drive us deeper into insolvency.
“Illinois is an energy leader in the US and that gives our businesses a competitive edge. We need policies that continue to promote our energy independence,” said Jeanne Ives, Candidate for Congress (IL-06). “While the Democrats want to ban fossil fuels, I was proud to vote for the enabling legislation to begin fracking in Illinois that was agreed to by business, labor and the Sierra Club. We can work together, as we did on that bill, on policies that expand economic opportunities and protect the environment at the same time, instead of destroying the very source of our modern world.”
“I spent six years in the General Assembly, arguing for policies that balanced the interests of those served by government with the interests of those funding government. I will do the same in Congress.
“What we learned from Iowa is that the Democrats have become the party of extremes, and the combination of Bernie Sanders and Sean Casten will be too much for Illinois’ struggling economy.
“I am a supporter of clean nuclear power and viable renewable energy sources as well, but those other energy sources must be allowed to develop sensibly over time based on market realities not Sean Casten’s reckless dictates.”