Worldenergy Blog

The New Green Deal... Really

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

When it comes to Energy and the United States it is important to think big, accent on the word think.  The "new"green deal really is an interesting look into how to "power the planet" and what the United States should do. 


Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has come forward with a new proposal, Senator Markey has signed on to bring it to the senate and several democrat 2020 hopefuls signed on to run with the idea.  


What is sorely lacking in the proposal is any sense of reality.  


The bill is supposed to be designed after the old New Deal which was a series of programs and projects instituted during the Great Depression by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and the premise is that Climate Change is the number one enemy of the United States, scratch that, of the World and in order to combat this evil we need to mobilize all of our resources.  The sound bites are great, we are going greenin just 10 years.  Representative Ocasio-Cortez or AOC, as she is often referred to, is leading the charge making the media rounds and her commentary could be summarized.

There is no reason to take history into account, let's be NIKE, "Just do it".


  1. When it comes to Energy, great slogans are more important than science, so just listen to me.
  2. With something this important, economics nor reality matter, we need to do this right now, cause I said so.
Whether you are a climate change believer or denier, or somewhere in the middle this type of talk doesn't really care.  If you don't agree with AOC then you must be wrong, and costs don't matter because the government can just print more money right? 


Meanwhile this bill has a lot more in it than just trying to reshape our energy future. President Donald Trump and Republicans like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell see the Green New Deal as the Democrats are trying to mandate a socialist utopia on our country, which is probably why even House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been publicly skeptical.  


The President has been openly critical of the plan and I can understand why.


The plan calls for meeting 100% of the power demands in the United States through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources.  How could that be a bad idea, right?  Who doesn't like clean energy?  What the voter needs to understand is the current mix of base load generation in the United States is primarily natural gas and coal with roughly 60% of the market.  Renewables make up roughly 17% if you count hydro and geothermal, with a fraction of that being wind and solar, roughly 5%. 


Now let's look at the basics of the plan.  The idea is to scrap 60% of our generation and replace it with zero-emission energy sources, but not nuclear (currently 20%).  Better yet, we are going to get that done in 10 years.  Even CNN has a problem with that one, calling the plan aspirational.


However, the plan doesn't stop there. It also calls for upgrading all existing buildings in the United States and building new buildings to achieve maximal energy efficiency, water efficiency, safety, affordability, comfort, and durability, including through electrification. Remember those "shovel ready" jobs that Obama talked about?  Well this would put that idea to shame, there are lots of buildings to be upgraded and the cost is simply not an issue.  For AOC this would create millions of jobs, the question of how these workers would get paid, well were back to NIKE, "Just Do It!"


But I digress, the plan goes on dictating that we overhaul transportation systems in the United States to eliminate pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector as much as is technologically feasible, including through investment in (i) zero-emission vehicle infrastructure and manufacturing; (ii) clean, affordable, and accessible public transportation; and (iii) high-speed rail.  Does anyone else remember “cash for clunkers” and how little effect that had? And I'm assuming that AOC has not looked at the costs associated with high speed rail, but I can tell you that the new governor of California has, he scrapped their plans to put in high speed rail going North and South.  


If you can't get it done in a State like California where the people are taxed to death and firmly believe in liberal government it's not likely to happen anywhere else.


Better yet, the plan takes aim at cow farts as well. Telling us they want to work collaboratively with farmers and ranchers in the United States to eliminate pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector as much as is technologically feasible.  I'm assuming they are referring to the emissions caused by the beef industry. The USDA projects the average American will eat about 222.4 pounds of meat in 2019, 53.4 pounds of that will be beef. So, are we really going to convert to Tofu?  Wait, scratch that, Tofu is soy bean and we all know what happens to people when they eat a ton of bean, replacing the emissions from cows with a human equivalent.


If this were not enough to have Republicans salivating at the opportunity to run against this, the plan also attempts to remake the way Americans approach the job market,  guaranteeing a job with a family-sustaining wage, adequate family and medical leave, paid vacations, and retirement security to all people of the United States.  This is pretty subjective, and in the FAQ that came along with the bill, since removed, it would even guarantee money to those who just don't want to work.  So here we go, the United States Government would dictate how much you must pay your employees and additionally would dictate that everyone must be paid whether they work or not.  This is a formula for failure, or at least for leisure.


However, if that wasn't enough the plan would also take ownership from the private sector and give it to the people. Think about that one for a moment. 

By providing and leveraging, in a way that ensures that the public receives appropriate ownership stakes and returns on investment, adequate capital (including through community grants, public banks, and other public financing), technical expertise, supporting policies, and other forms of assistance to communities, organizations, Federal, State, and local government agencies, and businesses working on the Green New Deal mobilization.  So essentially, "You didn't build that" would become the law of the land.


The plan goes on, it provides for free education, it provides more stuff for Indigenous people (beyond casinos), it makes unions stronger and individualism a thing of the past.  It even takes a swipe at the Affordable Care Act and proclaims that everyone will have free healthcare.


So we are left with a soup to nuts makeover of the United States into a Soviet style country.  The Government will dictate all, pay all, and the purveyors of our success or failure shall be the State.  If I were Donald Trump, I would welcome this.  It gives him a clear line to draw in the sand and a clear contrast to make.  However, if he really were the bastard the media makes him out to be he would embrace this plan.  It would give him power over every aspect of our lives.  Fortunately for us, he can see through this idea before it can take hold.


So as citizens, do we want more renewable energy?  Do we want healthcare for all? Do we want to have our building rebuilt, do we want to give up our cars and do we want to let the government dictate all? I think until we get to cars and government dictate, we were all good.  

Once we go there, a dictatorship is not what anyone wants, if you are not sure look at Venezuela