Amid oil embargoes, gas lines, terrorist threats, and foreign powers colluding to fix oil prices, a bipartisan consensus emerged on energy.
Presidents with otherwise differing views, from Barack Obama to George W. Bush to Bill Clinton, all agreed that the United States should realize its own energy potential.
Today, we are nearly there. America is now the No. 1 producer of oil and natural gas in the world. For the first time in decades, we are a net exporter of oil and refined fuels. Innovation in drilling and new technologies have expanded our economy, supporting millions of jobs all the way from Pennsylvania to New Mexico to Alaska.
Yet in the span of less than a year, this bipartisan consensus has broken down, putting our energy powerhouse at risk—thanks in large part to freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and her “Green New Deal.”
This month, Ocasio-Cortez unveiled additional details behand her plan that would presumably fight climate change. But the plan was essentially a wish list of socialist dreams disguised as environmental policy with America’s way of life in its crosshairs.
The Green New Deal calls for moving to 100 percent renewable or net zero-emission energy sources within 10 years. According to a fact sheet distributedby Ocasio-Cortez’s office, the goal is to “decommission every nuclear plant in 10 years” while not creating any new nuclear plants
This is not serious energy policy.
Wind and solar energy technologies are nowhere remotely capable of powering the nation in neither energy production nor storage. Though these technologies offer promise, and despite billions of dollars in federal subsidies to incentivize their advancement, fossil fuels and nuclear power remain the foundation of our energy.
Sophomorically, the Green New Deal seeks to eliminate these forms of energy.
If this were simply a debate over how best to power the electric grid, we could have a national discussion. But most of the Green New Deal has nothing to do with energy policy. Rather, it envisions a reordering of the American way of life away from free-market capitalism toward socialism.
Her “environmental” plan also calls for a government takeover of health care, guaranteed income for those “unwilling” to work, replacing conventional cars, free education, eliminating cows, and government housing for everyone.
The inclusion of such grandiose proposals in an energy proposal is outright strange. If the world, as she claims, will end in 12 years because of climate change, why does the proposal venture into reparations for minority communities?
Ocasio-Cortez’s lurch to the left is so extreme that it is dividing her party. No one doubts Michael Bloomberg’s environmental activist credentials, but even he is labeling the plan a “pie in the sky” idea.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, glad to finally be in possession of the speaker’s gavel and loathe to relinquish it, was quick to throw shade on the Green New Deal, dismissing it as a “green dream or whatever they call it.” She remembers the last time her party pushed radical energy policies.
In 2009, the Democrats advanced “cap and trade,” a plan much less extreme than the Green New Deal, only to see the public reject it and ultimately return the Republicans to power in the House.
The world is still full of conflict, and American energy dominance should, as it has been these past few decades, continue to be a bipartisan issue. That so many major voices on the left would endorse the insanity that is the Green New Deal shows the extent to which the Democrats have lunged to the radical extreme.
This is not good for America.
Daniel Turner is the executive director of Power the Future, a national nonprofit organization that advocates for American energy jobs.