Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders has been wise in attempting to downplay just how far-left his ideas are while on the campaign trail.
While Sanders has honeymooned in the Soviet Union, praised communist Cuba, and called for taking over “the major means of production” in the past, he’s tried to re-brand his socialism as social democracy in recent years. “When I talk about democratic socialism, I’m not looking at Venezuela. I’m not looking at Cuba. I’m looking at countries like Denmark and Sweden” he says. (I’m a democratic capitalist, by the way).
In reality, Sen. Sanders views haven’t changed, he’s just chose to lead with the Santa Claus policies that poll well among young voters.
While he’s only publicly called for the nationalization of healthcare on the campaign trail until now, he’s just done the same for electricity.
As Politico reported: 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.
A Sanders administration would pour funding into the four existing “power marketing administrations” that are overseen by the Energy Department, as well as the Tennessee Valley Authority and one newly created entity, to vastly expand their solar, wind and geothermal power production. Those organizations currently provide power from hydroelectric dams to 33 states, and would be able to sell the increased green energy to local utilities nationwide — creating a sort of “public option” that would compete with the coal, natural gas and nuclear plants owned by privately owned power generators.
Sanders plans to use the EPA to set strict carbon dioxide emissions limits — much more stringent than the Obama EPA’s rules for power plants that were rolled back by the Trump administration — to force utilities to retire coal and gas plants. To replace that electricity, local utilities could buy renewable energy from the federal utilities, or from clean power plants owned by privately owned generators.
According to energy analysts, Sanders plan would require an investment in infrastructure exceeding that which created the interstate highway system. “To get close to Sanders’ 100 percent clean energy goal by 2030, researchers estimate the U.S. would need to add about 800 GW of wind and solar resources — about 25 times the amount the federal government expects to be built this year — along with ample amounts of battery storage and transmission. The Sanders camp forecasts that would cost about $2 trillion.” And remember, government cost estimates are always under-estimates.
Globally, the trend has been towards privatization. As the Cato Institute’s Chris Edwards documents: there has been a global trend toward privatizing government‐run businesses. In recent decades, more than 100 countries have moved thousands of firms — worth a total of more than $3 trillion — to the private sector. Many nations have privatized parts of their electricity infrastructure.
Because of course, we know how good the government is at running anything. As the joke goes; “what did socialists use before candles? Electricity.”