22 Dec 2020 Will Blackrock-Owned Biden Admin’s Climate Policy Apply To All, Or Just Us Peasants?
Everyone knows that Goldman Sachs pretty much owned the Obama Administration. And it appears that Larry Fink and Blackrock with be the real deedholders and architects of the Biden term. (You didn’t expect Joe Biden to be in control, did you? Even Joe Biden doesn’t expect anyone to take Joe Biden very seriously in the short period until he gets his cue to stumble off the stage.)
Fink and Blackrock, in turn, are leading two attempts to revolutionize American corporations (more in the French revolution mold than the American). The first is by moving corporate responsibility from shareholder to stakeholder primacy. This is portrayed as a compassionate move designed to take all interests into account to ensure a better future for everybody. As has been discussed before in this space, its real function would be to free corporate executives from any legally enforceable checks, thus making them the little Masters of the Universe they imagine themselves to be, all using our investor money. But their cover is expressly, preeningly equalitarian.
The second revolution that Fink/Blackrock are pushing is to force corporations to adopt what are euphemistically called “environmental, social and governance” (ESG) provisions and metrics. It’s a euphemism because while these proposals are cloaked as good, fair, just and necessary moves for everyone, all they actually do is instantiate a leftwing policy wish list of demands for corporations. These include race- and sex-based (rather than merit-based) hiring quotas that will disadvantage disfavored racial and sex groups; socialist demands for increased worker unionization and union representation on corporate boards (exactly the sort of thing that nearly destroyed Great Britain until Mrs. Thatcher strode to the rescue); and – of particular relevance today – all sorts of initiatives to force corporations, and the country generally, into divesting from carbon-based energy and switching to supposedly clean energy technologies on a political rather than a technological timetable.
There is a small silver lining in the Fink/Blackrock shift into Oval Office, rather than corporate, control efforts. Now their nefariousness will be subject to additional scrutiny – no, no, not by the former news media, but by the rest of us (though perhaps via fax blast and mimeographed pamphlet, once the tinpot social-media dictators finish pushing us out of their spheres). And pushing a war on carbon at the federal level should, at least, drain away some of the support for their utterly incoherent demands that corporations adopt their own personal carbon policies – a strategy the stupidity of which has been considered here before and in significant depth elsewhere.
We can get a preview of what a Fink/Blackrock-led federal war on carbon would look like by recalling their corporate efforts. They will call for rapid phase-outs of natural gas and gasoline cars in favor of less reliable (and still environmentally problematic – nothing real has no downsides) and far more expensive alternatives. (You didn’t believe Sundown Joe’s claims in Pennsylvania that fracking would be fine, did you? Even if natural-gas production isn’t banned, its use will be. This was predicted during the campaign, and – lo and behold – the former news industry has already started generating the “health”-based excuses.) These policies would massively increase the cost of travel and of heating and cooling homes and… well, pretty much everything else. They will also render the whole country’s energy provision system more like California’s – broken and unreliable.
The policies would lower carbon emissions largely by constraining most Americans. We won’t be able to afford to drive often, or to fly almost at all, or to live in reasonably-sized houses. We’ll be forced like rats into cities, a goal the left has always had for us, where we will have to use public transportation and where we will be easily controlled. Sure, that will make us far more vulnerable to future contagious outbreaks, but that in turn will make us much easier to monitor and constrain.
None of this will have any effect on the Fink/Blackrock (or Moynihan/Bank of America or Dimon/Goldman) crowd that pushes these proposals, though. With their wealth, no amount of increased energy costs will have any effect. Sure, travel and everything else will cost more, but if you can afford it, that’s a bonus – it keeps us riffraff locked up at home, allowing the elite to have effortless exclusivity in everything.
I oppose any legislative restrictions on carbon-based energy. Markets, and the innovation and development that they foster, have dropped U.S. carbon emissions significantly in recent years and will continue to do so – on the timeline of technological development, and at coherent and affordable prices. But when the Fink/Blackrock crowd starts pushing their carbon-war policies, one adamantine response must be: “If we do this, we all do it together.”
If we’re to go to war on carbon, then we must demand that we use the World War II model of mobilization. Equal carbon rations for everyone. If “saving the planet” means that we need to cut our carbon emissions down to an average of, say 800 square feet of living space per person and 75-degree houses in the summertime and one airplane trip a year, then that must apply equally to everybody, including Fink and Moynihan and Dimon – and Gavin bleeping Newsom and all the other jackboot-and-gel 21st century Marie Antoinettes of this honored-in-their-breach lockdown season.
If they really care about what’s good for “all stakeholders,” and they think this environmental crisis is as bad as they say, they’ll apply the rules to themselves, and follow them. So let’s demand that they do as the very first premise in any negotiations about green new deals or the like.
Scott Shepard is a fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research and Deputy Director of its Free Enterprise Project. This was first published at Townhall Finance.