Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y, the self-described democratic socialist who has become a media sensation, is pushing for enactment of a radical plan called the Green New Deal that would ban the use of all fossil fuels from U.S. electricity generation, agriculture and manufacturing by 2030.
The Green New Deal would dramatically reshape the U.S. economy and add tens of trillions of dollars to the national debt.
The radical plan would force families to pay more to heat, cool and provide electricity to their homes. It would raise the same costs for businesses, farmers, government and organizations, driving up their operating costs – and raising the prices for just about all the good and services Americans buy.
Under the Green New Deal, Americans would have to power their homes with renewable energy, such as wind and solar power. Every home and business in the United States would have to be “upgraded” for “state-of-the-art energy efficiency, comfort and safety.” And a slew of massive government social programs and mandates would be created.
Yet despite all these negatives, the Green New Deal has garnered significant attention and support from some members of the media, Congress, and even prominent senators considering 2020 presidential runs: Cory Booker, D-N.J.; Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.; and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.
In addition to the energy provisions of the Green New Deal that have received the most attention from left-wing pundits and radical environmentalists, there is a lot of important information related to this proposal that proponents have deliberately kept out of the spotlight.
Here are five of the most important things you need to know about the Green New Deal.
1. It includes many radical programs that have nothing to do with so so-called “green” energy.
Supporters of the Green New Deal spend most of their time talking to the public about the proposal’s energy-related mandates, but some of the costliest parts of the plan are completely unrelated to the energy industry.
For example, Ocasio-Cortez’s proposal calls for the creation of “basic income programs” and single-payer health care.
The Green New Deal would also establish a federal jobs guarantee – one of the few non-energy-related parts of the plan Ocasio-Cortez has spent significant time advertising. And it would include provisions to “mitigate deeply entrenched racial, regional and gender-based inequalities in income and wealth.”
2. It would do nothing to curb global warming.
The primary justification given by Green New Deal proponents for the radical nature of the plan is that it is necessary to slow the rise of human-caused climate change, which Ocasio-Cortez and other liberals say will cause significant damage to the economy and human health over the next century.
Many scientists say there is no good evidence global warming will be catastrophic or that there’s anything humans can do to stop it. But even if we were to assume that global warming must be slowed down, the Green New Deal would do nothing to achieve this goal.
Even if the United States were to eliminate all of its carbon dioxide emissions by the start of 2030 – something that is likely impossible – the increased carbon dioxide emissions of the rest of world would more than offset the reductions in America.
Whether the Green New Deal is imposed or not, global carbon dioxide emissions are going to rise.
3. Renewable energy costs significantly more than fossil fuels.
The Green New Deal would eliminate fossil fuels from all electricity generation and transportation, forcing Americans to rely largely on expensive and unreliable renewable technologies like wind and solar power.
The Institute for Energy Research estimates that new solar power generation is nearly five times more expensive than using existing fossil fuel-powered electricity. Wind power is 3.5 times costlier.
These higher costs would drive up the price of all goods and services, not just electricity bills. And because all manufacturing would also be required to rely on “green” power, industries in the United States would struggle to match the prices of their foreign competitors, forcing some businesses to either close or move overseas.
4. The Green New Deal would empower and give handout to left-wing special interest groups and industries.
Some of the most vaguely worded parts of Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal plan are those that promise to increase the power of labor unions and give favors to left-wing industries.
According to the proposal, the Green New Deal would “deeply involve national and local labor unions to take a leadership role in the process of job training and worker deployment,” and it promises the “funding (of) massive investment in the drawdown of greenhouse gases.” That’s a code phrase for giving billions of taxpayer dollars to renewable-energy companies.
5. It would run up the national debt by tens of trillions of dollars.
Although no one knows exactly how much the Green New Deal would cost, a very conservative estimate is $40 trillion in its first 10 to 15 years. The Mercatus Center estimates the single-payer health-care proposal supported by Ocasio-Cortez would, on its own, cost more than $32 trillion.
Ocasio-Cortez has suggested one way to pay for these gigantic government programs would be to increase the income tax rate for America’s wealthiest earners as high as 70 percent, but even that radical move would fail to fund the Green New Deal.
In Ocasio-Cortez’s draft resolution, she suggests funding her proposal using “the same ways that we paid for the 2008 bank bailout and extended quantitative easing programs, the same ways we paid for World War II and many other wars. The Federal Reserve can extend credit to power these projects and investments.”
In other words, Ocasio-Cortez says we should pay for these left-wing proposals by running up the national debt by trillions of dollars, putting the nation’s economy at risk of collapsing.