Is the Green New Deal a good idea?
It has 91 Democratic co-sponsors in the House, 12 Democratic co-sponsors in the Senate, and nearly every Democrat running for president has endorsed the plan. But when the so-called Green New Deal came up for a vote on the Senate floor last month, it didn’t receive a single “yes” vote.
The Green New Deal is unaffordable, unattainable and unrealistic. This might help explain why most Democrats voted “present” rather than support this plan to combat climate change. I joined 56 other senators in voting no because it would harm Hoosiers without sustainably advancing national environmental, health care and economic objectives.
This unaffordable plan would bankrupt our country. The price tag for this deal could be as high as $93 trillion—that as much as $65,000 per household, per year.
It’s also unattainable. Over 10 years, the Green New Deal aims to rebuild or retrofit every structure in America. It would eliminate air travel, remove every gas-powered car from the roads, and cut out affordable energy produced in Indiana like clean coal and natural gas.
On the Senate floor March 13, I spoke against this “deal.”
“Imagine the crushing cost to Hoosiers farmers of changing out all farm equipment for electric vehicles. Or the cost of upgrading every single building on every farm in Indiana. This is on top of the sharp climb energy prices would take under the Green New Deal.”
This is not a serious proposal. A serious plan would include continued use of energy sources like clean coal, natural gas and nuclear. We can’t afford to eliminate these critical sources from our energy infrastructure.
In Indiana, more than 90% of our electricity is generated by coal and natural gas. Renewables such as wind and solar account for just 6%. Though these sectors continue to grow, they cannot reliably and affordably produce the electricity Indiana needs. Instead of turning a blind eye to the energy sources that power Indiana, let’s continue to offer research and development incentives in these sectors.
Finally, the Green New Deal is a back door to the unabashedly socialist policies being pushed by the far left. Included in this proposal are liberal priorities like Medicare for All, which might as well be called Medicare for None, and guaranteed income for people unwilling to work.
As someone who has tried to develop serious common-sense solutions to many of these real challenges, I would like to see my Democratic colleagues do the same.
On the environment, we should be promoting policy with incentives for carbon-capture research, nuclear energy development and energy-efficiency improvement. Bipartisan legislation like the USE It Act, would promote carbon-capture research and development. This is an area of common ground for Republicans and Democrats. We agree on the need to promote market-based carbon-capture systems that ensure America can continue to cleanly and affordably produce energy.
I’ve heard from a number of Hoosiers who are deeply concerned about the harmful Green New Deal. That’s why we took a stand against this dangerous proposal in the Senate.
Hoosiers know a bad deal when they see one, and the so-called Green New Deal must never become law.•
Young was a member of the U.S. House before being elected to the U.S. Senate in 2016. Send comments to [email protected]
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