By Mitch McConnell
March 7, 2019 - A recent column in this paper, written by an executive from a liberal New York special-interest group, claimed to speak for Kentucky families in support of the Democrats’ Green New Deal.
It’s always funny, but never surprising, when far-left activists from places like New York or California presume to know what Kentuckians think. But something was surprising about this particular column: It blasted me for announcing the Senate will soon vote on legislation that she actually supports.
Earlier this year, with the horrors of socialism on full display in Venezuela, a Democrat who proudly identifies as a socialist proposed the Green New Deal in Congress.
Its sponsors call climate change an urgent crisis. They say it can bring the world to an end in just over a decade.
I quickly announced that I will bring their plan to the Senate floor for a vote, giving every member an opportunity to publicly show if they think this legislation is good for American families.
I’m not sure I remember another time when the champions of a legislative proposal were this upset they were getting a chance to actually vote on it. But we already know this: The Democratic leader of the Senate has refused to endorse it, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called it the “green dream” and has no plans to even hold a vote.
I’ll oppose this ludicrous plan because I believe progress can be made through realistic changes — not radical, socialist policies like the Green New Deal that would uproot life as we know it.
Despite its lofty goals and pleasant-enough name, the Green New Deal is really a dangerous, unachievable and unaffordable manifesto for government control over every part of the economy and our lives. Even the recent New York columnist admitted it’s a half-baked idea.
Here are just a few ways their radical philosophy would wreak havoc on your life.
The Democrats’ plan requires every single building in the United States to upgrade or to be rebuilt to meet their energy standards. This would mean Washington bureaucrats poking around your homes and your businesses forcing you to pay for costly updates.
Better check under the hood of your car as well. If it has an engine, you’ll have to replace it with an electric car or walk.
Don’t buy that ticket out of Louisville’s SDF to visit family or friends. Green New Deal supporters also want to eliminate domestic air travel.
That’s not all. Their plan takes aim at Kentucky’s workers, especially our farm families and coal communities.
Kentucky is proudly the biggest cattle state east of the Mississippi River, but Green New Deal Democrats envision getting rid of cattle farms.
States like ours depend on coal for reliable and affordable energy production, but the Green New Deal would put every coal miner out of work and force families to pay more to keep their lights on. One study suggested the Green New Deal would increase your monthly electricity bill by more than $315.
Kentuckians suffered under President Obama’s disdain for rural America. But the damage of the war on coal would pale in comparison to the impacts of this plan, if enacted. Even President Obama’s energy secretary said it’s impossible to meet the demands of the Green New Deal.
It’s easy to imagine how small businesses and job creators would react. When it’s too expensive to do business in the U.S., they’d shut their doors and lay off their employees. The radical proposal wouldn’t just reverse our recent economic growth, it could unilaterally destroy the entire American market, leaving competitors like China to gobble up our jobs with no discernible benefit for us.
These socialist Democrats aren’t stopping there. They want the government to guarantee “economic security” for all people in the U.S., even those who are “unwilling to work.” I can’t think of anyone who wants to pay for their able-bodied neighbor to sit at home all day because they choose not to work.
By this point, we’re all thinking the same thing: What’s this going to cost me? A recent study estimated that the Democrats’ proposal would cost up to $93 trillion over 10 years. That means every American household would have to kick in an extra $65,000 every year for a decade.
If this mess were intended to be a joke, it might make a good punchline. But the Green New Deal is a genuine proposal that elected Democrats want to impose on every single American. Prominent members of the Democratic Party are channeling the hard left, discarding reality and trying to make these radical ideas mainstream.
So when I call up the Green New Deal for consideration in the Senate, I will proudly vote no in defense of Kentucky’s families. There is important work to be done to protect our environment, but a socialist takeover of our economy won’t help.