An ambitious plan to phase out fossil fuel use by 2050 could save billions of dollars on energy bills, a former bank executive says.
J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. executive and climate change expert Dan Ariely said Wednesday that the country would have to find a way to replace nearly half its energy needs with cleaner sources by 2050, and a similar amount by the end of the century.
Arieley, now a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, said it would take about 20 years to do it, adding that he didn’t believe the cost would be worth it.
He said the world could use a similar plan to the one developed in the early 1990s by then-president George H.W. Bush.
But he said it was “anachronistic” for a country with the world’s fastest-growing population and the most advanced economy.
The plan would also require large changes in the way energy is consumed and distributed.
“There’s a tremendous opportunity to get there in a sustainable way,” Arieles told reporters Wednesday at the Bipartisan Policy Center.
A senior adviser to the Obama administration, Robert Zoellick, called the plan “ambitious and forward-looking” and said he would not be involved in crafting the plan.
“I would not do this unless I saw a real and credible path to success that’s realistic and achievable,” Zoellik said.
“The only thing that’s been made explicit, and I think we have all been clear on this, is the need to move toward renewables.”
Arielys said it took him two years to work out the details and work out a model for phase out energy use.
He also said the plan needed to be cost-effective, and would require significant change to the way the country uses energy.
“That is something that will be very difficult to achieve,” he said.
Ariel Boushmandzadeh, an economist at the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute, said the proposal would be a massive shift in the U.S. economy.
“It’s not a matter of how much you spend, it’s a matter about how much people are willing to spend,” he told The Associated Press.
“And if you spend too much, you’re going to see people lose their jobs, and the government isn’t going to be able to provide them with basic necessities.”
The plan calls for a massive reduction in fossil fuel usage, with a goal of 100 percent by 2050.
“If we can achieve a 50 percent reduction by 2030, then we have a path that will put us on the path to clean energy, to the extent that we can,” Aries said.
He estimated the plan would save the U