A controversial proposal currently being debated in Congress that is designed to address a wide array of ecological and environmental issues is not well thought out, says a new report issued by a Washington-based think tank.
The Green New Deal, modeled after a series of economic stimulus programs enacted by President Franklin Roosevelt during the Great Depression, is proposing the creation of a 100 percent zero-emission energy grid for the U.S. within the next decade.
The program, as introduced earlier this year by New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey, would place a greater investment on high-speed rail systems and electric cars.
It is also calling for the retrofitting of all existing buildings in the U.S. as part of a larger goal of achieving maximum energy efficiency.
Now, an economist with the American Enterprise Institute is saying that the goal of attaining that 100 percent zero-emission state would most likely prove too costly and may create additional emissions due to backup generation.
The Green New Deal would “yield no benefits in its central energy, environment, and climate context, but it would impose very large economic costs,” says the report, The Green New Deal: Economics and Policy Analytics.
The report contends that it would cost at least $490 billion annually to enact the Green New Deal’s clean electricity goal, a goal that would require the use of over 115 million acres of land.
The total price tag for the program, say the report, would be in excess of $9 trillion, a figure that excludes the “costs of massive shifts in the transportation sector mandated by the Green New Deal, the costs of the building retrofit objectives, the costs of high-speed rail, and other policies.”
Authored by Benjamin Zycher, an energy and environmental policy expert at the AEI, the report additionally charges that if enacted, the Green New Deal will increase the “power of government over the ability of individuals and businesses to use their resources in ways that they deem appropriate.”
The Green New Deal proposal is currently under review in the House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources.
By Garry Boulard
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