Over the next 10 years, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., supported by at least eight prospective 2020 presidential Democratic-Socialist candidates and 40 acolyte lawmakers, plans to eliminate fossil fuels; make air travel obsolete using bullet trains; upgrade or replace every building in America to ensure energy efficiency; and ensure “economic security for all who are unable or unwilling to work.”
Oh yes — and apparently for those who are dumb enough to turn away free money for doing nothing — this New Green Deal will also guarantee “A [government] job with a family-sustaining wage, family and medical leave, vacations, and retirement security.”
An original summary fact sheet posted on Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s official congressional website (then rapidly removed), stated, “The Green New Deal resolution [is] a 10-year plan to mobilize every aspect of American society at a scale not seen since World War II to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions and create economic prosperity for all.”
The plan pledges to “Move America to 100 percent clean and renewable energy.”
Rep. Ocasio-Cortez explained, “We set a goal to get to net-zero, rather than zero emissions, in 10 years because we aren’t sure that we’ll be able to get rid of ‘farting cows’ (her words, not mine) and airplanes that fast, but we think we can ramp up renewable manufacturing and power production, retrofit every building in America, build a smart grid, overhaul transportation and agriculture, plant lots of trees, and restore our ecosystem to get to net — zero.”
As for that clean renewable energy, zero-carbon-emitting nuclear power will be excluded.
The fact sheet declares, “It’s unclear if we will be able to decommission every nuclear plant within 10 years, but the plan is to transition off nuclear and all fossil fuels as soon as possible.”
Recognizing that “private companies are wary of making massive investments in unproven research and technologies,” the socialist answer, of course, is to nationalize all energy.
As the plan explains, “Once again, we’re not saying that there isn’t a role for private sector investments; we’re just saying that the level of investment required will need every actor to pitch in and that the government is best placed to be the prime driver.”
As I pointed out in my Feb. 4 column of this year, to understand how totally crazy the Green New Deal is, it’s important to look at the full spectrum of energy demands across all consumption sectors.
According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), in 2017 so-called “renewables” provided 17 percent of the 38 percent of total energy consumed in the U.S. electricity sector. Wind and solar only accounted for about 27 percent of those renewables; 4.6 percent of this total sector demand.
This amounted to a piddly two percent of total U.S. energy consumption measured in Btus.
And what about the remaining 61.9 percent of U.S. energy consumed by the transportation sector (29 percent), industrial sector (22 percent), and residential/commercial sector (11 percent)? Renewables in general — and wind/solar in particular — made only negligible contributions to any of them.
Not addressed in the plan is what energy sources would replace that equal amount backup fossil-fueled wind turbine and sunbeam capacity needed to balance out the power grid during those majority of demand times when the wind isn’t blowing and sunlight is hidden.
All of these pesky energy replacement issues might present a problem in meeting the Green New Deal pledge to ” . . . build high-speed rail at a scale where air travel stops becoming necessary, create public transit available for all, with a goal to replace every combustion engine.”
That plan might prove to be more expensive than even the most ardently free-spending socialists might hope for. Consider, for example, the California bullet trainwreck which has been derailed by enormous cost overruns and land-stealing acquisition hurdles.
California voters approved a $10 billion bond measure a decade ago which was supposed to take riders from San Francisco to Los Angeles in less than three hours. In the interest of helping to halt millions of years of climate change, the Obama administration generously chipped in $3.5 billion of our taxes towards building the first 160-mile segment through the San Joaquin Valley.
Perhaps only coincidentally, this route happens to be in the Congressional district of Democratic Rep. Jim Costa, D-Calif., a strong bullet train supporter and then-vital Obamacare voter.
Meanwhile, project cost projections have soared to around $80 billion, private investors have run for the valley hills, and the state rail authority has blown more than $5 billion on acquiring and destroying hundreds of right-of way properties without laying tracks.
California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newson has very recently anounced that he will scrap plans to extend the line beyond the first hapless and likely hopeless link. Yet there is some good news here as well.
Imagine what it would have cost to extend that high-speed track to Hawaii in order to offset a need for airline fuel.