By Justin Haskins
February 8, 2019 - The Green New Deal nonbinding congressional resolution unveiled by Democratic lawmakers Thursday calls for economically destructive and environmentally toxic extremist policies that would be an utter disaster for our country and the American people.
The radical and impractical plan could suck trillions of dollars out of our economy, raise costs of much of what we buy, wipe out millions of jobs and plunge our country into a recession or perhaps even a depression. It would be a self-inflicted wound causing enormous harm to us all.
Socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., released the proposal, elements of which have already drawn support from some congressional Democrats, including several seeking their party’s presidential nomination.
Calling climate change “a direct threat to the national security of the United States,” the resolution calls for the United States to “achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions through a fair and just transition for all communities and workers.”
In reality, the direct threat to our national security and economic security comes from the Green New Deal itself.
The resolution aims to accomplish its ambitious goals by eliminating virtually all fossil fuels from U.S. electricity generation within 10 years. That would destroy at least 3.4 million jobs in the oil, natural gas and coal industries.
The radical plan would replace fossil fuels by building hundreds or even thousands of costly new renewable energy facilities across the country. It also calls for building high-speed rail and eliminating as many gasoline-powered vehicles “as is technologically feasible.”
All this would hit American families and businesses hard in the wallet – not just with increased taxes to fund the Green New Deal but with dramatically higher prices of much of what we buy.
Renewable energy sources like wind and solar power are two to five times more expensive than existing conventional energy sources like natural gas.
Forcing Americans to ditch their perfectly good gasoline-powered vehicles and pay far more than they do now to provide power their vehicles and homes could cost families billions of dollars each year, harming low-income families the most.
Higher power costs for businesses would create huge incentives for them to relocate to other nations to reduce their power bills. This would be particularly true of factories, which require large amounts of power to manufacture all sorts of products.
The Green New Deal would mandate the removal of “pollution and greenhouse gas emissions” from every manufacturer and industry. This provision alone would have devastating economic effects.
If manufacturers and all industries are forced to go “green,” the cost of producing products in the United States will increase so substantially that it would be virtually impossible for American companies to beat their global competitors. Manufacturers staying in the U.S. would try to cut costs in other ways – by holding down wages and by replacing as many workers as possible with automation.
Under President Trump, manufacturing is making a comeback in the U.S. after decades of decline. More than 450,000 manufacturing jobs have been added across our nation under the Trump administration, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
This manufacturing renaissance could have never happened if the Green New Deal was in place, and these job gains would be reversed in the job-killing radical plan became law.
If all this wasn’t bad enough, so-called green energy sources are also are much more unreliable than fossil fuels, because the wind isn’t always blowing and the sun isn’t always shining. Electric power brownouts and blackouts would likely become common if the American people were forced to depend on these “green” energy sources.
And it surprises many people to know that many forms of renewable energy – supposedly better for the environment – can in fact cause significant environmental problems.
Solar facilities and wind farms take up far more land than many existing conventional energy facilities. For example, solar energy requires 40 to 50 percent more land than natural gas facilities. Wind energy production takes up 90 to 100 percent more land.
Additionally, in order to build the thousands of new wind turbines and solar panels that would be needed to power the country, substantially more steel and rare earth minerals would need to be manufactured and mined, causing massive environmental damage.
And where would the government build all these new wind and solar facilities? Even many of the most liberal, supposedly environmentally friendly communities in the country have rejected new wind farms because they don’t want the land around their homes filled with turbines.
The Green New Deal would also have the federal government “work collaboratively with farmers and ranchers in the United States to eliminate pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector.”
The radical plan would do this in part by mandating “sustainable” farming and land-use practices, giving tremendous power to the federal government to manage U.S. farms and ranches – immensely increasing the costs of producing the food we eat.
And guess what – when it costs farmers more to grow food, its costs you and me more to buy food. So under a Green New Deal we could expect dramatically higher prices at the supermarket checkout line.
Another disturbing provision of the Green New Deal would require “upgrading all existing buildings in the United States and building new buildings to achieve maximal energy efficiency, water efficiency, safety, affordability, comfort, and durability, including through electrification,” costing trillions of dollars more.
Not only would these policies kill jobs, hurt families and insert the government in everyone’s home and business – they would provide few, if any, environmental benefits and would do nothing to avert climate change.
Even if you believe that humans are causing climate change and that climate change will cause significant problems in the future – claims not all scientists accept – the Green New Deal would not reduce global carbon dioxide emissions.
This is because countries like China and India are increasing their carbon dioxide emissions by so much that they will, based on current projections, more than offset any carbon dioxide emissions cuts made in America.
And unfortunately, the above economically disastrous policies are just the tip of the iceberg. The Green New Deal has still more harmful provisions when you look below the surface.
The resolution also includes dozens of socialist policies that have little or nothing to do with the environment – including some that were not included in Ocasio-Cortez’s initial draft proposal released last year.
For example, the Green New Deal resolution would provide “resources, training, and high-quality education, including higher education, to all people of the United States, with a focus on frontline and vulnerable communities.”
Translation: implementing the Green New Deal will likely include a universal free-college provision that could costs trillions of dollars over the next couple of decades.
The Green New Deal also promises “universal access to healthy food,” “economic security” for all Americans, universal health care, and a jobs guarantee that would provide employment to anyone who wants it “with a family-sustaining wage, adequate family and medical leave, paid vacations, and retirement security.”
Funding all these government giveaways would require massive tax increases – and not just on the wealthiest Americans, because there are not enough of them to pay for all these enormously expensive programs. And even with gigantic tax increases, soaring federal deficits would still be likely under the Green New Deal.
The bottom line is that the Green New Deal would transform gigantic sectors of the U.S. economy – energy, health care, college education, and potentially more – into huge socialist, government-run or managed programs that would be controlled by an army of bureaucrats in Washington.
And all this would be done in the name of trying to control the weather 80 years in the future. This isn’t just socialism, which has been proven to fail repeatedly throughout the world over the past 100 years. It’s crazy.