Huge amounts of ink, digital and otherwise, are being wasted in discussion of President Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure plan announced yesterday. But one of the more revealing comments came from the ever-green Washington Post, which insisted that the whole purpose of the plan isn’t infrastructure, but bringing about a paradigm shift.
“President Biden’s infrastructure plan would turbocharge the country’s transition from fossil fuels, using the muscle and vast resources of the federal government to intervene in electricity markets, speed the growth of solar and wind energy, and foster technological breakthroughs in clean power,” the Post wrote. “The linchpin of Biden’s plan… is the creation of a national standard requiring utilities to use a specific amount of solar, wind and other renewable energy to power American homes, businesses and factories. The amount would increase over time, cutting the nation’s use of coal, gas and oil over the next 15 years.”
The Post concluded with excitement: “Biden’s strategy would amount to the most sweeping federal intervention in the electricity sector in generations.”
As that reality sinks in, there will be foot-dragging and more from all sorts of political and business layers in the country. The following response by Brian Wolff, executive vice president for public policy of the Edison Electric Institute, the power sector’s biggest trade association, is indicative:
“Certainly, we will review any proposed clean energy standard closely,” he said, “and we support policies that enable our member electric companies to continue to get the energy they provide as clean as they can as fast as they can, without compromising the affordability and reliability our customers value.”
Not precisely a ringing endorsement.