These arguments largely are not related to the nuclear industry. The comment I have as it relates to nuclear is that none of these plans address the fact that the next president will have less than two years to solve the largest reduction in nuclear generation in US history, and so far zero political plans even acknowledge the existence of this problem.
(*I can’t provide specific data or specific explanation in some areas of this comment as I will be talking about an industry I actively work in. All of these ideas are my own)
My biggest problem is that these recent “energy plans” call for a timeframe of completion that directly contradicts data from the construction industry. He calls for 100% renewable by 2030 for electrical energy. There are projects to date for the energy infrastructure industry that are currently going on and have a contractual deadline of past 2030. There are infrastructure projects that extend for a 1,000 miles, but these plans are now saying we can achieve 200,000 miles in half the time. HOW?
There are some efficiency loses, but its not that much. Everything in the preconstruction side is non-negotiable as it contains the legal side of construction with all parties involved and extremely important planning that studies and real life shows saves money and time. Then theres actual construction. Bernie’s plan talks almost exclusively about labor jobs.
Mr. Sander’s do you know that there are DOT, and Labor requirements for hours worked in a given week. How do I massively increase my production, if Im hamstringed by federal an union hour requirements (personally I don’t feel hamstringed because these guys work their a$$ off at 70-80 hour weeks)? Your timeframes are requiring completion of work at a faster rate than optimization worker efficiency studies for the industry, which means you better be giving me some alien technology to increase production, or be a magician. Mr. Sander’s your rates for completion do not make mathematical sense.
Cost Breakdown of the Plan:
- $40 billion for Climate Justice Resiliency Fund - “Justice of Frontline Communities”
- $200 billion for Green Climate Fund - “reduce emissions in the world”
- $1.52 trillion for renewable energy generation (that’s very low*)
- $852 billion for energy storage capacity**
- $526 billion for advanced electrical grid***
- $2.18 trillion for weatherization and energy efficiency upgrades for all low to mid income families homes****
- $964 billion on phasing energy production for heating without electricity for low to moderate income families (will be interesting to see the plan for industrial centers that require thermal input now that we aren’t using nuclear or fossil fuels, and they require 24/7 input).
- $2.09 trillion for providing purchases for EVs
- $681 billion for vehicle trade in program
- $85.6 billion for installing continental charging stations
- $407 billion for all schools to have electric buses
- $216 billion for the replacement of all shipping trucks*****
- $300 billion for public transit to extend to rural communities and all across the country
- $607 billion for high speed rail (this is crazy low)
- $30 billion for Storage Shot
- $100 billion to reduce cost of EVs
- $500 billion to research decarbonizing shipping and aviation
- $150 billion to decarbonize the shipping and aviation industry(wtf does Bernie think building new technology will cost 3 times than R&D? That doesn’t make sense)******
- $34.85 billion for Clean water infrastructure
- $150 billion for telecommunication infrastructure
- $77 billion to improve roads, bridges and highways (by comparison the ASCE estimates that $4.3 trillion is required through 2040).
- $5 billion for Tiger Grant Programs
- $936.1 billion to ensure resiliency for infrastructure against climate change impacts.
- $162 billion adapt to sea level rise
- $18 billion to federal firefighters
- $2 billion in FEMA Hazard Mitigation Program (which actually the US National Labs are more responsible for as they build the data for this entire program).
- $171 billion reauthorization of the CCC (Just an FYI participants in the CCC sometimes were involved with extremely dangerous and life-threatening tasks - such as stabilizing mines with limited education - that would not be permitted by OSHA regulations to date)
- $1.7 trillion to fully authorize the LWCF (pretty crazy that he will spend more money on national parks than energy generation infrastructure)
- $25 billion additional to repair national parks
- $1.3 trillion on job replacements
- $15 billion for black lung disability
- $1 billion for strong labor standards********
- $5.9 billion in regional economic development
- $130 billion for infrastructure in counties impacted by climate change (Wow that’s not vague at all)
- $388 billion for the cleanup of superfund and brownfield sites (its amazing to me that he thinks this going to take less than 10 years).
- $41 billion for confined feeding operations
- $160 billion for soil fertility
- $1.48 Billion for Farming R&D
- $24.85 billion for farmland conservation
- $500 million to transition farmers to organic growing (explain how organic farming in harsher environmental conditions has a higher likelihood of success than using GMOS?)
- $1.4 billion to build renewable energy systems on farms (What does this actually mean? Are we talking about generation for consumption on the farm. Its not utility scale as singular wind and solar farm projects have costed over $1.4 billion on their own.)
- Theres a lot of smaller projects, and then theres also sections where they talk about investments, but they don’t provide an actual cost assessment.
*: I don’t really understand this figure to begin with, given that there is no explanation as to how much energy capacity for renewables will be grown, or what specific energy sources would be used. Its rather impossible to determine a cost estimate without this information, so this estimate looks very suspicious.
**: Again there is no explanation for how much storage capacity or what type of storage capacity. If you don’t know what youre building how could you possibly determine the cost of it. This is not a constant, large scale pumped hydro does not cost the same as a tesla battery pack, so you can’t just give the people a random figure with zero explanation of what youre actually doing.
***: Money will be spent for high-volt, underground, renewable, direct current, smart, electric transmission and distribution grid will ensure our transition to 100 percent sustainable energy is safe and smooth. Its difficult to determine if he means a range of technologies or HVDC line in this sentence. Now its also kinda weird that this doesn’t include substation, transformer or conversion stations, which a major necessity especially if youre only going to be relying on DC now. I have a lot of unanswered questions on this one.
****: Included with this, is this policy: “A federal mandate through the Department of Energy will ensure that new and existing commercial buildings and wealthy homeowners meet our energy retrofit goals.” So wait a second, Bernie, youre going to change energy efficiency requirements for homeowners, and existing commercial buildings now have to meet a new standard.
- Question 1: What is this standard based on?
- Question 2: Is any of this money being allocated for this purpose or are you requiring commercial businesses to pay a cost because the government said so with no legal reasoning?
- Question 3: Why is the DOE creating a federal mandate for energy efficiency standards in buildings? They aren’t responsible for that. Techniclally if you assume that all building be required to follow LEED standards which is a program partnered within the DOE, but the reason why there is a “mandate” is because confirmation of LEED buildings can be an owner requested contractual requirement. State governments or national construction/ engineering institutions (ASTM, ANSI, ACI, ASHRAE, ISE etc) create building and energy codes - not the DOE (it concerns me that a presidential candidate doesn’t know this).
*****: There are some considerable engineering and economic challenges for electric semis. Id love to see the data where his campaign magically solve these problems. The issue is that in order to travel equivalent distances as diesel trucks electric trucks requires very large batteries, which creates issues because there are federal limits for weight on your truck and typically these batteries reduce the hauling capacity and volume for your load. This translates to less total loads, which reduces revenues for trucking companies. What exactly is the solution here Bernie, or did you just promise a bunch of bs?
******: As stated in the shipping note, the aviation and mass cargo industries has a similar issue with the energy density of batteries. Now there are potential solutions related to biogas and hydrogen, but it looks like Sander’s has zero interest in these industries as hes not allocating funds for hydrogen cars or biomass or biofuel of any kind in this entire plan. Also moron sanders claims the IPCC study calls for complete decarbonization of all industries by 2050, even though it actually says that we must reach net carbon zero, which not the same thing as complete decarbonization of all industries.
********: I don’t really see how youre going to have strong labor standards, if you give contractors extremely limited timeframes for the completion of work or have timeframes that remove the ability to have permitting. If you speed things up youre going to have accidents. If you think that the 1930s were the epitome of labor rights and safety you are moron. Everyone love the marvel of Hoover Dam, but 96 workers died on that project. That’s completely unacceptable today.