Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York, Thursday reintroduced the Green New Deal, a resolution that calls for a rapid transition to 100% renewable zero-emission energy. The original resolution in 2019 didn’t receive a single vote in its favor in the U.S. Senate.
In response to the announcement that the New York Democrat was resurrecting the failed resolution, Rep. Cy Western, R- Big Horn, quoted a line from the character Mac in the television show, “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.”
“Disregard that Frank, it’s a bunch of liberal bullshit,” Western said.
Ocasio-Cortez is tying the latest incarnation of the Green New Deal to the Inflation Reduction Act, which passed successfully last year.
"When we first introduced the Green New Deal, we were told that our vision for the future was too aspirational. Four years later, we see core tenets of the Green New Deal reflected in the Inflation Reduction Act,” Ocasio-Cortez said in a press release.
The original Green New Deal resolution refers to the “Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5ºC” by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), a consortium of the world’s leading climate scientists.
After introducing the resolution in 2019, Ocasio-Cortez made headlines claiming that the world was going to end in 12 years unless we addressed climate change.
The resolution treated the 1.5 degrees Celsius target as a threshold, which is a misinterpretation of what the report actually says.
The lead author of the 2018 report, Myles Allen, explained in a 2019 article in The Conversation that the IPCC does not draw a boundary “beyond which lie climate dragons,” and he urged activists to stop saying that “something globally bad is going to happen in 2030.”
The resolution lays out a laundry list of progressive goals. Besides 100% zero-emission electricity, it also calls for energy-efficient construction, investments in public transit and high-speed rail, controls on pollution, “afforestation,” and for the U.S. to be an international leader on climate action.
The original resolution was only 14 pages and provided little detail as to how to accomplish its goals and objectives.
According to an analysis by the American Action Forum, the provisions in the Green New Deal would cost up to $92.9 trillion.
Sen. Edward Markey, D-Massachusetts, joined Ocasio-Cortez in the reintroduction.
“In the four years since we first introduced the Green New Deal, the tides of our movement have risen and lifted climate action to the top of the national agenda,” Markey said in a statement.
According to a recent University of Chicago and Associated Press poll, less than half of Americans believe climate change is manmade, and only 20% would support a $100 monthly fee to stop it.
Wyoming Rep. Harriet Hageman told Cowboy State Daily that the Senate shouldn’t waste its time with the Green New Deal and should instead be focusing on the
Lower Energy Cost Act.
“The Green New Deal is a fantasy for the left and a nightmare for everything else in America,” Hagemen said.
The Lower Energy Cost Act, which passed the House in a 225-204 vote at the end of March, would prohibit President Joe Biden from banning fracking, repeal restrictions on the import and export of natural gas, repeal natural gas taxes on energy bills, and require the Department of Interior to resume lease sales for energy development on federal lands.
Biden has threatened to veto it, should it pass the Senate.
“Nobody anywhere should pay a bit of attention to the social engineering that radical democrats are pushing on unwilling American citizens,” Hageman said.
Green New Disaster
Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso also called the Green New Deal a “nightmare.”
“Democrats’ Green New Disaster is back. Higher prices, more government control, and money for our enemies. Their green dream is a nightmare for Wyoming families,” Barrasso told Cowboy State Daily.
Wyoming Sen. Cynthia Lummis told Cowboy State Daily the Green New Deal isn’t a serious proposal.
“For goodness’ sake, it pushes for the elimination of methane emissions from cattle. The United States does not stand a chance of remaining competitive on the global stage if we go down the road that radical environmentalists are proposing,” Lummis said.
Way Too Fast
Sen. Ogden Driskill, R-Devils Tower, told Cowboy State Daily that he doesn’t object to the idea of emissions-free energy. The problem with the Green New Deal, he said, is the timeline with which it aims to accomplish a transition. That will wreck the nation’s economy with unaffordable energy and rolling blackouts, he said.
“These things take time to evolve, and these guys are willing to gamble away the stability of our country, by trying to get somewhere way too fast,” Driskill said.
Driskill said he’s also concerned with the way it places the burden of reducing greenhouse gas emissions on the U.S., while China is rapidly building new coal-fired power plants. This means any reductions in U.S. emissions, he said, would be offset by China’s emissions.
Driskill said a wiser proposal to reduce emissions would be to export coal from Wyoming to Japan, China, and India, as the state’s coal burns a lot cleaner than the coal those nations are using.
Wyoming currently has no way to export coal to Asian countries. A port terminal that would have facilitated these exports was blocked by Washington state in 2017.
Driskill said that the Green New Deal is divisive and ignores a large part of the country that doesn’t share in its vision.
“I think we're seeing splits in the country that have not been seen since the Civil War,” Driskill said.
Western said there’s a large gap between what comes down from Washington, D.C., and what’s needed in communities across America.
“This Green New Deal garbage is fundamentally not meeting those needs. Wyoming does. We contribute the energy, the kind of energy portfolio that does meet those needs,” Western said.
Rep. Scott Heiner, R-Green River, also remarked on the disconnect between Wyoming and the proposals of the Green New Deal.
“That shows that our federal government is out of touch with reality. They don’t understand our industry and economy is hinged on energy,” Heiner told Cowboy State Daily.
Lummis said that, unlike the proposals in the Green New Deal, she will work to empower innovators, remove barriers for small business owners, and keep energy prices low without more regulation and hurdles.
“I will keep fighting for Wyoming small businesses and our energy industry against climate activists and against the Green New Deal,” she said.