Following PG&E’s initial round of blackouts earlier this month, the Sanders campaign touted the Vermont senator’s sweeping Green New Deal proposal as a way to prevent the outages California’s utility giant has imposed on millions of people and build a modern and clean electrical grid.
“No one in this country should be losing power in their home because large corporations have failed to invest in a smart, safe, and modern electrical grid,” said Rafael Návar, Sanders’ 2020 California state director. “When Bernie is in the White House, he is going to take on the corporate greed and recklessness of the energy industry and build a 21st century energy grid that will deliver clean, reliable power to all.”
Sanders’ 10-year Green New Deal plan, released in August, states that a “smart grid means a resilient, secure, and intelligent electric grid system that is capable of managing high amounts of renewable energy, charging electric vehicles quickly, and maximizing efficiency.”
“We will spend $526 billion on a modern, high-volt, underground, renewable, direct current, smart, electric transmission and distribution grid [that] will ensure our transition to 100 percent sustainable energy is safe and smooth,” the plan says. “The renewable energy generated by the Green New Deal will be publicly owned, managed by the Federal Power Marketing Administrations, the Bureau of Reclamation, and the Tennessee Valley Authority.”
Johanna Bozuwa, research associate with The Next System Project at the Democracy Collaborative think tank, wrote for In These Times in August that Sanders is right to call for “a massive public takeover of the nation’s electric grid.”
“The for-profit companies that reign over our energy system now have shown no meaningful sign of being willing to transform our energy system; they are much more interested in shareholder gains and business as usual,” Bozuwa wrote. “In contrast, democratic public ownership of our energy system could prioritize community benefit over profit, paving the way for a just and equitable energy system.”
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