By Greg Wrightstone
When Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey rolled out their Green New Deal (GND) in February, they put flesh on the bones of a policy that formerly was only a pie-in-the-sky proposal promoted by the Green Party. This Green Party proposal was a wish list from an expansionist government agenda floated by Democrat Socialists and the far-left wing of the Democrat Party over the last 20-or-so years.
The Green Party proposal went beyond replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy (no nukes) to include supplanting “non-essential means of transportation” with modern mass transit (no more trips to Home Depot for you!), 50% reduction in military spending (no more wars for oil), no home foreclosures, forgiveness of all college loans and a public jobs program.
While some of the most outlandish ideas were not incorporated in the House and Senate versions of the Green New Deal, enough were retained to make this a horrific blueprint for the transformation of America into the Marxist state that bills’ sponsors desire.
Big-ticket items related to energy and environment include:
· Complete transformation to renewable energy for the power demand sector; that means no electricity from natural gas, coal or oil
· Building of a new electric “smart grid” to provide “affordable” energy
· Upgrading of every existing building in the United States while dictating strict new efficiency codes for new construction
· Expanding high speed rail to a scale that obviates air travel
A new study released this week by the Energy Action Forum (EAF) and headed by former CBO head Douglas Holtz-Eakin examined the costs of the entire proposal and what they found was stunning. While decreasing the country’s carbon dioxide emissions to save us from looming climate devastation, the GND’s energy portion spends “only” $6 trillion to $8 trillion over the projected 10 years of mobilization. That is between $48,000 and $59,000 for each household in America. We say “only” because the truly big-ticket items are saved for sweeping social and economic policy changes.
According to the EAF study, the 10-year costs of this social engineering will be between $66 trillion and $108 trillion, or $350,000 to $650,000 to the average family over the same ten-year period. Included in the proposed expenditures at the high end of their analysis:
· $44.6 trillion for guaranteed jobs with a family-sustaining wage and associated benefits
· $36 trillion for universal health care
· 4.2 trillion for guaranteed housing for all
· $1.5 billion for food security for every American
The total cost for full rollout of the GND could exceed $100 trillion. To put these costs in perspective, the average cost for the Green New Deal is projected to be nearly $11 trillion per year, which is more than twice as much as President Trump’s proposed budget for 2019 ($4.4 trillion).
These projected costs are likely low-ball estimates. For example, the costs did not include any money at all for additional transmission lines to get the power from new plants to the grid. It also assumed that most of the new electricity will be from nuclear power, even though only one such project is currently under construction and it is unlikely that any new nuclear projects could come on-line by the 2030 deadline.
How does Ms. Ocasio-Cortez plan on bankrolling this massive spending? According to her it would be “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.” Her solution is to raise taxes, print money, and create new publicly owned banks.
Not often mentioned by the proponents of the GND, many millions of persons employed in the conventional energy sector will lose their jobs. Within the original Green Party proposal was an acknowledgement that enactment of their plan would mean that 3.9 million workers directly employed in the oil, gas or coal industries would necessarily be displaced from their current high-paying jobs and forced to seek employment elsewhere.
The price tag for this proposal is enormous, but its social impact may be even greater. The destruction of basic American principles and injecting the federal government into nearly every aspect our daily lives may far outweigh the simple dollars and cents listed in spreadsheets by a think tank.
Comrade Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal is Marxism masquerading as environmental policy.