It may not be among the first things that a House committee plans to discuss this year, but this does not mean that people should overlook the issue of fossil fuels.
While individuals, thinktanks and special interest groups beg to differ, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) believes mankind's use of fossil fuels is contributing to what she calls “climate change” or “global warming,” and she argues that unless something is done about it, Americans can expect bigger, more powerful storms and other extreme weather conditions.
As a result, Ocasio-Cortez is proposing a "Green New Deal " that involves major investments in clean-energy jobs and infrastructure – transforming not just the energy sector, but the entire economy in 12 years. This is when a report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says people need to get emissions under control – or there's no going back.
"This is really about socialism. This is nothing more than a socialist Trojan horse. That's why they've inserted all sorts of programs into the 'Green New Deal' that have nothing to do with green energy.
"We absolutely cannot afford it. We're talking about tens of trillions of dollars. [The Mercatus Center estimates] just the single payer healthcare part of this alone ... would cost $32 trillion in the first ten years."
"I think that the [Democratic] Party is moving to the left; I don't think that this is just political posturing. I actually think that the Democratic Party is becoming the Socialist Party of America."
Justin Haskins, research fellow
Former Missouri Public Service Commission and energy blogger Terry Jarrett is highly skeptical of the plan.
"I would say it's downright impossible," argued Jarret, who is also an attorney. "To be able to completely do away with fossil fuels in the next 12 years – what that would mean for the economy and our way of life would ... just be devastating."
He explained his reasoning further.
"To basically shut down all coal plants, all natural gas plants, do away with oil and gasoline – we're talking trillions of dollars – that would have to be spent to make this 12-year switch," he insisted. "Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) estimated that just by doing away with the fossil fuels for generating electricity and replacing it with wind and solar and battery storage technologies would be about $2.5 trillion over a 12-year period, and that really doesn't take into account all of the other fossil fuels that we use for transportation in cars and trucks and farming."
Ocasio Cortez also believes that the Green New Deal will make the economy "fairer" and "more just."
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