“Green New Deal FAQ” (the infamous AOC post for posterity)

“The Green New Deal is a massive investment
program, not an expenditure. The question isn’t how will we pay for it, but
what is the cost of inaction, and what will we do with our new shared
prosperity created by the investments in the Green New Deal.”

“The Green New Deal sets a goal to get to net-zero, rather than zero emissions, at the end of this 10-year plan because we aren’t sure that we will be able to fully get rid of, for example, emissions from cows or air travel before then.”

It was an embarrassment–and to my knowledge, the most ill-conceived energy proposal in the history of the United States by a major political party since the oil-industry nationalization proposals of the shortage 1970s.

The Green New Deal FAQ was published on the website of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) on February 5, 2019, only to be taken down after an outcry over its proposed elimination of air travel and cow flatulence within ten years (quotation above).

But the public-relations disaster was a Godsend for the energy/climate realists. The futile climate crusade was exposed for its exaggerations and assault on peaceful, self-interested activity. And the political bluff was called by a Senate vote where zero, 0, votes were cast for it.

The deleted 2,138-word FAQ follows:

What
is the Green New Deal?

The
Green New Deal is a 10-year plan to create a greenhouse gas neutral
society that creates unprecedented levels of prosperity and wealth for all
while ensuring economic and environmental justice and security.

The
Green New Deal achieves this through a World War 2 scale mobilization
that focuses the robust and creative economic engine of the United States
on reversing climate change by fully rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure,
restoring our natural ecosystems, dramatically expanding renewable power generation,
overhauling our entire transportation system, upgrading all our buildings,
jumpstarting US clean manufacturing, transforming US agriculture, and
putting our nation’s people to work doing what they do best: making the
impossible possible.

Any
large-scale transformation of society can create the risk of some people
slipping through the cracks. That’s why the Green New Deal also calls for an
upgrade to the basic economic securities enjoyed by all people in the US to
ensure everybody benefits from the newly created wealth. It guarantees to
everyone:

  • A job with family-sustaining wages, family
    and medical leave, vacations, and retirement security
  • High-quality education, including higher
    education and trade schools
  • High-quality health care
  • Clean air and water
  • Healthy food
  • Safe, affordable, adequate housing
  • An economic environment free of monopolies
  •  Economic security to all who are
    unable or unwilling to work

The
frontline communities that are already facing the ravages of climate change and
pollution and working-class communities reliant on fossil fuel industries must
be prioritized in any transformation of our society to a renewable energy
economy. That’s why the Green New Deal lays out a comprehensive plan that
ensures training, investment, and the economic and environmental benefits
of the transition prioritize these communities that are most at
risk. 

In
short, the Green New Deal fully tackles the existential threat posed by climate
change by presenting a comprehensive, 10-year plan that is as big as the
problem it hopes to solve while creating a new era of shared prosperity.

What
is the purpose of the Green New Deal resolution?

The
goal of the resolution is to define the scope, scale, and purpose of the Green
New Deal. It is intended to define what is necessary for any legislation that
aims to be “Green New Deal” legislation. The resolution puts forward 5 goals to
be accomplished through a 10-year plan that involves 14 transformative
industrial and infrastructure projects and 15 supporting principles for social
and economic justice and security necessary to accomplish the Green New Deal.

Why
is such a large-scale mobilization necessary right now?

A
recent IPCC report declared that global temperatures must be kept below 1.5
degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels to avoid the most severe impacts of
a changing climate. This calls for global reductions of greenhouse gas
emissions of 40 to 60 percent by 2030. The U.S. contributes 20% of global
emissions. To hit these global targets, the US must not only get to a
greenhouse gas emissions neutral society by 2030, but it must also lead this
change abroad to avert climate catastrophe.

Is
getting to a greenhouse gas emissions neutral society in 10 years possible?

It
is possible if we have the political will to do it.  When JFK called for
us to get to the moon by the end of the decade, people said it was impossible.
 When FDR called on America to build 185,000 planes to fight World War
2 at a time when America was producing 3,000 planes a year, the world
laughed.  We ended up building 300,000 planes and winning the war. We
built a highway system to connect this continent, split the atom, and created
the Great Society. The American people are capable of doing great things when
our nation comes together to tackle big challenges.

Is
there any support for the Green New Deal?

92
percent of Democrats and 64 percent of Republicans support the Green New Deal
according to latest polls. Over 300 local and state politicians have called for
a federal Green New Deal. The previous resolution to create a select committee
for a Green New Deal had 45 endorsers in the House, and this new Resolution is
launching with the co-sponsorship of 60 members of the House and 9 Senators
including many major Presidential candidates.

Why
do we need a sweeping Green New Deal investment program led by the government?
Why can’t we just rely on regulations, taxes, and incentives such as a
carbon tax or a ban on fossil fuels?

  • The level of investment required to make
    the Green New Deal successful is massive. Even if every billionaire and company
    came together and were willing to pour all their resources into this
    investment, the aggregate value of investments would not be sufficient.
     That’s why we must utilize World War II era and New Deal-style financing
    which commits to long-term benefits instead of short-term quarterly returns.
  • The speed of investment required must be as
    swift as possible. Even if all the billionaires and companies in the world
    could make the investments required, they would not be able to pull together a
    coordinated response in the narrow window of time required to jump-start major
    new projects and major new economic sectors. Additionally, private companies do
    not make massive investments in risky projects that will only earn a moderate
    return — even if they are necessary to save the planet. The government,
    however, has the time horizon to be able to patiently make investments in
    exploration of new tech and R&D, without necessarily having a commercial outcome
    or application in mind at the time the investment is made. Major examples of
    government investments in “new” tech that subsequently spurred a boom in the
    private sector include DARPA-projects, the creation of the internet – and,
    perhaps most recently, the government’s investment in Tesla.
  • We don’t need to just stop doing the
    destructive things we are doing (like using fossil fuels for energy needs); we
    also need to start doing new things (like overhauling whole industries or
    retrofitting all buildings to be energy efficient). Starting to do new things
    requires upfront investment. In the same way that a company trying to change
    how it does business may need to make big upfront capital investments today in
    order to reap future benefits (e.g., building a new factory to increase
    production or buying new hardware and software to totally modernize its IT
    system), a country that is trying to change how its economy works will need to
    make big investments today to jump-start and develop new projects and sectors
    to power the new economy.
  • Merely incentivizing the private sector
    doesn’t work – e.g. the tax incentives and subsidies given to wind and solar
    projects have been a valuable spur to growth in the US renewables industry but,
    even with such investment-promotion subsidies, the present level of such
    projects is simply inadequate to transition to a fully greenhouse gas neutral
    economy as quickly as needed.
  • This resolution sets out a non-exhaustive
    list of several major projects that need to be completed fast. These projects
    include upgrading virtually every home and building for energy efficiency,
    building 100% greenhouse gas neutral power generation systems, removing
    greenhouse gases from industry and agriculture, and more. These projects will
    all require substantive investment.
  • 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 of the investment program. Given the magnitude of
    the current challenge, the tools of regulation and taxation, used in isolation,
    will not be enough to quickly and smoothly accomplish the transformation we
    need to see.

How
will you pay for the Green New Deal?

The
Green New Deal is a massive investment program, not an expenditure. The
question isn’t how will we pay for it, but what is the cost of inaction, and
what will we do with our new shared prosperity created by the investments in
the Green New Deal.

We
will finance the investments for the Green New Deal the same way we paid for
the original New Deal, World War II, the bank bailouts, tax cuts for the rich,
and decades of war – with public money appropriated by Congress. Further,
government can take an equity stake in Green New Deal projects so the public
gets a return on its investment. We already know that investments in
infrastructure create huge returns on investment. The interstate highway system
returned more than $6 in economic productivity for every $1 it cost. Similarly,
investments in upgrading and transforming industry are a chance to grow
the wealth of our nation dramatically.

For
a more detailed view on paying for the investments in a Green New Deal, check
out these articles [here and here]:

Will
this hurt communities that rely on fossil fuels jobs?

The
Green New Deal will prioritize creating high-quality, family wage-supporting
union jobs in communities that rely on fossil fuel industries. It will ensure
that all communities have a better alternative for high-wage work before they
transition away from fossil fuel industry based work.

Is
this an environmental plan? Why do you have things like universal health care
and other social safety net measures in here?

The
Green New Deal is a plan to make a full-scale transition of our
economy that puts jobs and justice first. This plan will require a
strong social safety net so that every U.S. person can make this transition
comfortably and nobody falls through the cracks in the process. If we want to
be able to mobilize our economy fully, we can’t afford to have employees stuck
in their current jobs because they are afraid to lose health care or workers
unable to participate because they can’t afford the education and training programs.
We also need to be sure that workers currently employed in fossil fuel
industries have higher-wage and better jobs available to them to be able to
make this transition, and a federal jobs guarantee ensures that no worker is
left behind. We believe that the economic securities and programs for
justice and equity laid out in this Green New Deal resolution are a bare
minimum of what we need to do to successfully execute the Green New Deal.

Why
does the Green New Deal call for net-zero emissions in 10 years instead of zero
emissions? Is this saying we won’t transition off fossil fuels? Does the Green
New Deal ban all fossil fuels?

The
Green New Deal is a 10-year plan to jumpstart the complete transition of our
society away from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources and to achieve zero
greenhouse gas emissions and pollution. The resolution outlines the plan to
virtually eliminate greenhouse gas emissions and pollution from every sector of
the economy through a World War 2 scale mobilization of our society to create
the renewable energy infrastructure and clean industries as fast as possible.

The
Green New Deal sets a goal to get to net-zero, rather than zero emissions, at
the end of this 10-year plan because we aren’t sure that we will be able to
fully get rid of, for example, emissions from cows or air travel before then.
However, we do believe we can ramp up renewable manufacturing and power
production, retrofit every building in America, build the smart grid, overhaul
transportation and agriculture, restore our ecosystem, and more to get to
net-zero emissions.

The
Green New Deal also calls for any infrastructure measures before Congress to
address climate change and additionally calls for an end to the transfer of
pollution overseas.  This provision goes farther than just calling for a
ban on new fossil fuel infrastructure. Instead, it tackles all greenhouse gas
emitting and pollution emitting sources in our economy and global
trade. However, the more important driver to phasing out fossil fuel usage
in the Green New Deal is the large-scale mobilization that will make new fossil
fuel infrastructure or industries untenable.  The Green New Deal is a
10-year plan to reorient our entire economy to be pollution and greenhouse gas
emissions free while ensuring every person in the U.S. benefits from this
enormous transformation of our society.  This means creating a plan to
develop the supply of clean energy, industries, infrastructure, transportation,
and more for workers and frontline communities in conjunction with
transitioning off fossil fuels. Only banning fossil fuels won’t build the new
economy to replace it. The Green New Deal is a plan to build that new economy
and spells out how to do it technically.

What
comes next?

Representative
Ocasio-Cortez is planning to immediately begin work on Green New Deal
legislation to fully flesh out the projects involved in the Green New Deal. She
also plans to work with members of Congress to incorporate existing legislation
into the comprehensive plan for a Green New Deal.

The post “Green New Deal FAQ” (the infamous AOC post for posterity) appeared first on Master Resource.

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April 10, 2019 at 01:04AM

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