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24 maio 2019

Green New Deal: Unnecessary, Illogical, and Immoral

Thomas Pyle about The Green New Deal

Source : americanenergyalliance (Thomas Pyle blog )

This week, I was able to represent the American Energy Alliance in testifying before the Western Caucus on the dangers presented by the Green New Deal. Conservatives must present a united front against this greenist manifesto and ensure that policymakers aren’t lured into accepting less draconian, but certainly damaging policies like a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade program as a “reasonable alternative”.

I am grateful to the Western Caucus and Chairman Gosar for this opportunity. My spoken remarks are below. Written testimony can be found on the Western Caucus website: here.

Thank you, Chairman Gosar, for your invitation and for your leadership of the Western Caucus. My name is Tom Pyle and I’m the president of the American Energy Alliance. We advocate for free markets and affordable energy for American consumers and businesses.

And as a former staff director of the Caucus, I truly appreciate the active role the you are taking on this and a number of important issues.

For nearly a decade now, the United States — blessed with vast natural resources — has benefited from one of the greatest energy expansions in the history of the world. Our energy producers have delivered the low cost and reliable energy that has fueled economic growth and opportunity for all Americans. Contrary to the naysayers, we have drilled our way to prosperity here at home — and as this energy revolution continues — U.S. energy exports will help lift millions of people out of poverty around the globe.

The Green New Deal, on the other hand, would abruptly end this progress, devastate our economy, and disrupt our very way of life.

As a political matter, the contents of the Green New Deal are not achievable to any substantial degree. The resolution conjures up false hopes and ignores several political realities. For example, it seems to completely ignore the current process for building out infrastructure. The resolution ignores the immense challenges that come with working through the NEPA process, which can delay projects for years and even decades. For the record, I’m completely in favor of NEPA reform, but refusing to even acknowledge these hurdles is to ignore reality and makes it impossible to take the Green New Deal’s policy proposals seriously.

The Green New Deal takes a flight of fancy in the technical realm as well. The resolution asserts a series of end points for the electricity, transportation, and industrial sectors without any seeming awareness of the absence of known technologies to achieve them.

The resolution’s goal to quote “transform the transportation sector” illustrates this point. Replacing all vehicles in the U.S. with electric cars might theoretically be possible — assuming a willingness for the government to confiscate personal property — but it is certainly not possible in a 10-year time frame given the restraints of EV technology and scalability.

Additionally — as if it needs to be said — there is no technology currently in existence to replace long distance travel by aircraft. The suggested alternative — high-speed rail — can never hope to match air speeds, even if the land for construction could be seized and the massive electricity demand of high-speed rail could be met. All one needs to point to is California’s high-speed train to nowhere to see the folly of this idea.

In short, we don’t have the technical capacity to do what the Green New Deal purports to mandate — certainly not in 10 years and most likely not in my lifetime.

Grant it I am a little bit older than AOC.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the economic indignity of the proposal is so far-fetched that it won’t ever be achieved. Even the attempt to phase out natural gas, coal, and oil in the next decade would drastically increase gasoline and electricity prices. This obviously would hit the poor and those on fixed incomes the hardest, as energy constitutes a much higher percentage of their household budgets.

Some have estimated the cost of implementing the far-reaching proposals in the Green New Deal in the multi-trillions of dollars. Suffice it to say, there is simply no economic logic to this. The economic contradictions found within the Green New Deal further expose the whole proposal as nothing more than a green activist manifesto rather than a serious economic program.

But there is nothing aspirational about making false promises to the very people the proponents of the Green New Deal claim to be trying to help. In fact, it is immoral.

In conclusion, the Green New Deal is unnecessary, illogical, and immoral. Thanks to innovation and technology, our domestic energy producers are delivering low cost energy to millions, increasing well-being and economic opportunity for all. At the same time, the U.S. has achieved emissions reductions unmatched by any other country in the world.

The only thing the Green New Deal could possibly hope to achieve is to lull policymakers into accepting less draconian, but certainly damaging policies like a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade program as a “reasonable alternative”.

Fortunately, as your leadership here today demonstrates, that will be as hard a sell as the Green New Deal itself.