Democratic presidential candidates rally behind a proposition that will overhaul the entire infrastructure and increase government spending by trillions over the next decade.
Getting rid of air travel, guaranteed government jobs for all, and renovating every building in our infrastructure are just a few of the radical steps that were included in Alexandria Ocasio Cortez’s latest proposal for her Green New Deal. The deal sounds noble with goals such as: moving to 100 percent renewable energy by the year 2030, investing massive amounts of money into sustainable businesses and ending unemployment entirely. It just sounds too good to be true.
It is estimated that the Green New Deal will cost between $700 billion and $1 trillion per year. The plan is to pay for it by cutting the military budget in half, enacting a $60 per ton carbon tax that would increase annually and increasing taxes on the wealthy. Right off the bat, $400 billion would go to creating new public jobs and $200 billion would go to transitioning to clean energy annually. This includes renovating buildings to make them operate on clean energy and also to build a completely new public transportation system.
The main concept of the Green New Deal is to phase out fossil fuels, fracked gas and nuclear power in favor of renewable energy, all within the next decade. Renewable energy (wind, solar, and hydro) only make up 18 percent of the U.S. energy supply currently. It is projected that renewable energy will increase to 30 percent of our supply by 2050 at our current rate. The resolution states that massive amounts of money would be invested into offshore wind power generation in order to make up for the loss of nonrenewable energy sources. Many critics believe it is an impossible goal to reach especially with nuclear power being excluded from the plan.
Another step to eliminating carbon emissions would be to radically overhaul our means of transportation. Travel by plane and the internal combustion engine would be eliminated and replaced by a national mass transit program, which would increase travel time exponentially. Phasing out internal combustion engines would force automobile manufacturers to only produce electric vehicles.
In addition to eliminating carbon emissions, the resolution also promises to end unemployment by guaranteeing a government job to anyone who needs one. They claim these jobs will be created in sustainable energy, mass transit, regional food systems, and other public services.
Presidential candidates Kamala Harris (D-CA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Bernie Sanders (Independent Socialist-VT) have co-sponsored the Green New Deal.
Many opponents are personally against the involvement the government will take in our economy in order to enact this resolution. Not to mention the jobs that will be lost in the energy sector and the inconvenience and cost of switching to electric cars and mass freight instead of planes. Also, the U.S. is already naturally decreasing its carbon emissions through technological innovations in the private sector. It seems ludicrous to overhaul the U.S. economy just to slightly hinder the rate of climate change, especially when the worst offenders of man-made climate change are actually third world developing countries. I believe the world will one day run on renewable energy, but the cost and time frame to enact this plan is unfeasible.