No Green Light for the Green New Deal

Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Va., speaks during the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
The “Green New Deal” should have Americans seeing red.

The so-called Green New Deal, a resolution introduced by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Senator Ed Markey (D-MA), is not a science-based plan but an ideological scheme to remake our country masquerading as environmental policy.

Its backers frequently compare it to the effort to win World War II. That effort mobilized American society to destroy the fascist regimes of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan; this effort would mobilize American society to destroy our own economy.

The Green New Deal would leave no part of our lives untouched. You don’t have to read between the lines of the proposal to reach that conclusion. You can take its creators at their own word.

The main stated goal of the proposal to is “to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions” in the economy over ten years.

Even if reaching net-zero emissions were practical, which it isn’t, whole industries would shut down.

For example, a “frequently asked questions” document released by Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s office (and subsequently removed from her website) sets as a goal to “build out high-speed rail at a scale where air travel stops becoming necessary.” If that aim was reached, what would become of jobs at Boeing or General Dynamics?

It should be noted, however, that even Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s FAQ document admits, “we aren’t sure that we’ll be able to fully get rid of farting cows and airplanes that fast.”

Clean manufacturing – “solar panel factories, wind turbine factories,” and the like – would be expanded, but manufacturers and industries that emit greenhouse gases would be targeted. Just as manufacturing enjoys a resurgence in the United States, the Green New Dealers would shutter factories again.

For the many people who would be put out of work, the Green New Deal resolution has a few lines about benefits for “communities that may otherwise struggle with the transition away from greenhouse gas intensive industries.” That would be cold comfort for those in coal-related industries who would lose their jobs.

You don’t have to work in a fossil fuel-related industry to worry about your future under a Green New Deal. Energy costs would skyrocket as our country turned away from stable, reliable fuels that now contribute to powering our country.

The resolution calls for “upgrading all existing buildings in the United States.” You read that correctly: all. Will the sponsors borrow from President Obama’s health care promises and vow, “If you like your house, you can keep your house?”

Energy, industry, agriculture, even private property, all would come under the scope of the Green New Deal. Implementing it, and ensuring compliance, would vastly expand the Federal Government while shrinking the freedoms of citizens.

And what would be the point of all this havoc? China, the world’s biggest polluter, would not be bound by it. Nor would any other countries. These other countries would get the jobs we threw away.

And who would pay for the Green New Deal’s promise of economic security for people “unwilling to work?” The answer is you, me, and others who are able-bodied and willing to work.

The Green New Deal is not science-based. It tries to force you to choose between an apocalyptic vision of the future, created by putting the most alarming spin on climate data, or an unrealistic utopia achieved by the wholesale reshaping of the American way of life.

Further, the Green New Deal calls for “removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.” Have they forgotten eighth grade science? Carbon dioxide, which most lifeforms depend on, is deemed a greenhouse gas. Even water vapor is considered by government agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, to be a greenhouse gas.

But the absurdity of much of the Green New Deal does not mean it can never become law. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s legislation was introduced with 67 cosponsors in the House, and several of the Democrats running for president have endorsed the concept.

To prevent the occurrence of such a disaster, it is important for Americans to understand the real damage the Green New Deal would inflict.

Our country has succeeded in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in previous years. We did it with improved technology that increased energy efficiency and brought down the costs of cleaner fuel sources. This is the blueprint for a future that holds both cleaner air and water and greater prosperity. Government has its place in this future, but it cannot solely create this future, as the Green New Dealers would have you believe.

If you have questions, concerns, or comments, feel free to contact my office. You can call my Abingdon office at 276-525-1405 or my Christiansburg office at 540-381-5671. To reach my office via email, please visit my website at www.morgangriffith.house.gov.