‘New Green Deal’ is a Green Nightmare

Published 8:39 am Monday, February 18, 2019

Elections have consequences. Under the House Republican majority in the previous Congress, we focused on creating jobs, growing the economy, improving our security, taking care of our veterans, and making America energy independent. Now that House Democrats have the majority, they have replaced our agenda with an agenda much more closely aligned with socialist principles and government control over all aspects of life. As President Trump pointed out in his State of the Union speech, history is littered with examples of the destruction caused by socialism, with Venezuela being the most recent. No document better lays out Democrats’ embrace of socialism than their recently-introduced “Green New Deal.”
The resolution, H.Res. 109, has the support of 68 House Democrats and 12 Democrats in the Senate on their version. Senate Democrats supporting this resolution include Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), among others. The resolution puts forth a goal for the United States to meet 100 percent of the U.S. power demand using zero-emission energy sources. This would require stopping the production of oil, natural gas, and coal — three of our most abundant energy sources and the energy sources that power 80% of our economy. The resolution also calls for updating or replacing ALL U.S. buildings, and calls for “guaranteeing a job . . . for all people of the United States.”
Some of their proposals are far too extreme and unrealistic to achieve in their 10-year goal. For instance, the resolution calls for “overhauling transportation systems in the United States to remove pollution and greenhouse gas emissions” and “working collaboratively with farmers and ranchers in the United States to remove pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector.” The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), put out a FAQ along with the resolution to illustrate some of the policies the resolution calls for. The FAQ states they “aren’t sure that we’ll be able to fully get rid of farting cows and airplanes that fast,” — you can’t make this stuff up! Why on earth would anyone want to eliminate air travel or livestock from our agricultural system?
Here’s the most troubling part of the Green New Deal: it’s not about climate change, it’s about centralizing control of our economy with the government. Within the FAQ, the bill’s sponsors indicate the goals of the new deal include: providing “economic security for all who are…unwilling to work;” to “create millions of family supporting-wage, union jobs;” “guaranteeing…higher education;” and to “ensure a just transition for all communities and workers…that have historically relied on fossil fuel industries.” Their plan to pay for this legislation is through credit extended by the Federal Reserve or by new public banks, or a carbon tax. California’s failed plan to build a high-speed rail is a prime example of how this “deal” would bring devastation to our country. The rail was estimated to exceed $77 billion in costs by the time of completion, and since abandoning the project, California has to return $3.5 billion to the federal government. The Democratic resolution isn’t a “green dream”, as Nancy Pelosi called it — it’s a green nightmare and a socialist fantasy.
If we are interested in reducing emissions, local communities are already leading the way with commonsense changes that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and are good for the economy and taxpayers at the same time. While I served on the Johnson City Commission, including my time as Mayor, we worked to cap the gas coming out of our landfill — which is made up of methane — and used it to heat and cool the Mountain Home VA Medical Center instead of burning the methane off into the atmosphere. For that, we received a national award from the EPA. We also audited all our public buildings for energy efficiency and established a “Green Team” that could work with entities to find ways to help them be more environmentally friendly. Johnson City was the first municipality in Tennessee to offer curbside recycling, and we replaced stoplight and streetlight bulbs with energy efficient bulbs that save energy and taxpayer dollars.
I’m all for solutions that will leave our children and grandchildren a healthier planet, but the extreme Green New Deal is not the answer.

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