Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke is attempting to make headlines over his plan to combat man-made climate change with an eye-popping public investment of $5 trillion to save the planet.
The Texas-based Democrat, who attempted to defeat Sen. Ted Cruz last year, labeled climate change “the greatest threat we face” this week when he proposed spending trillions over a decade to “neutralize” carbon emissions in the United States by 2050.
“We have one last chance,” O’Rourke warned in a campaign video from Yosemite National Park, “to unleash the ingenuity and political will of hundreds of millions of Americans to meet this moment before it's too late.”
According to Nicolas Loris of The Heritage Foundation, the plan from Beto is essentially the same ideas and strategies as the “Green New Deal” but under a different name.
"It continues this idea that we need to tax, spend, and regulate our way to a zero emissions economy," he adds. "The reality is that would cost so much money, not just for American taxpayers but also for energy consumers and businesses."
The United States got 17.1 percent of its electricity in 2018 from renewables, but that was mainly hydropower (7 percent) and wind (6.6 percent).
Solar provided only 1.6 percent, and that's after multi-level government assistance, which has also been provided to wind.
Despite predictions that fossil fuels are dooming us, fossil fuels and nuclear energy remain the go-to source for electricity, and Loris believe that replacing them with more expensive ones that depend on subsidies will bring economic disaster.
"The climate impact from all of these proposals is barely a change in the earth's temperature that you could even measure," Loris points out.
Critics have pointed out that the Green New Deal and similar proposals only affect the United States, not other pollution-dumping countries such as China and India.
O’Rourke, meanwhile, has watched his political star fade in recent weeks after enjoying fawning media coverage ever since his U.S. Senate campaign.
According to a compliation of polls at RealClearPolitics, O'Rourke is polling in single digits behind five other names, including frontrunner Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders, and Mayor Pete Buttigieg, the Indiana mayor who is currently enjoying fawning media coverage that O'Rourke enjoyed just months ago.