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Posted on Feb 15, 2019

Green New Deal a nonstarter: Column

By Rep. Dan Newhouse

Last week, Democrats heralded a “Green New Deal” framework promising “a massive transformation of our society” through “a 10-year plan to mobilize every aspect of American society at a scale not seen since World War 2 to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.” The goal of being responsible stewards of our environment is certainly serious, but the details of this plan are not. Asked for her reaction, even Speaker Nancy Pelosi dismissed it as, “the green dream or whatever they call it, nobody knows what it is but they’re for it, right?”
Plausible or not, it is important to discuss the details of the plan because national Democrats are serious about presenting it as a platform to radically alter life in the United States as we know it. Among the goals of the “green dream:”
• Eliminate the fossil fuel industry.
• Provide economic security for those “unwilling to work.”
• Upgrade or replace every building in United States.
• Replace air travel with high-speed trains.
• Phase out nuclear power.
Underscoring how radical this plan it, the drafters actually say they set a goal to get to net-zero, rather than zero emissions, in 10 years because they weren’t sure that they will be able to fully get rid of flatulent cows and airplanes that fast.
I don’t know about you, but I doubt there are many Americans who are willing to work long hours at a full-time job, sacrificing their time and effort, to subsidize those who are “unwilling to work.”
This is not a sound or serious plan, and it would empower the federal government to redistribute untold trillions of taxpayer dollars while devastating the American economy – costing millions of workers their jobs in the airline industry alone.
How to pay for this attempt to reorganize the United States along socialist terms? The Green New Deal’s backers’ response can be summed up as “charge it”: “The Federal Reserve can extend credit to power these projects and investments and new public banks can be created to extend credit.”
The plan also ignores the benefits of nuclear power and doesn’t make any mention of hydropower, which currently generates about 70 percent of the renewable and affordable electricity in Central Washington.
Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., agreed that her plan would require massive government intervention.
As President Trump said in his State of the Union address last week, “Here, in the United States, we are alarmed by new calls to adopt socialism in our country. America was founded on liberty and independence – and not government coercion, domination and control. We are born free, and we will stay free. Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country.”
Indeed, we do.

Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Wash., represents Washington’s 4th District in the U.S. House of Representatives.