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Policy Brief: The Green New Deal: A Grave Threat to the American Economy, Environment, and Freedom

June 6, 2019

The tremendously expensive proposal would devastate the U.S. economy and cause more environmental destruction than protection.

The “Green New Deal” (GND) resolution proposed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Edward Markey (D-MA) proports to be a radical plan required to avert a future climate change catastrophe. Its proponents also claim it would improve the environment and bolster the economy. However, the truth is the GND is a dangerous combination of environmental extremism and socialism. The tremendously expensive proposal would devastate the U.S. economy and cause more environmental destruction than protection.

Despite extensive coverage, the left-leaning media has refused to conduct a rigorous examination of the Green New Deal’s planks, and it has largely chosen to ignore many of the GND’s unrealistic provisions and promises. Even a cursory look at the proposal shows it would be impossible to fully carry out in 10 years and that it would be economically, socially, and politically detrimental, almost beyond imagination. 

Ocasio-Cortez, an avowed socialist, has made it clear the Green New Deal is part of her strategy to replace the free market with the failed policies of the Soviet Union and other socialist nations, including Venezuela, whose economy remains in the midst of a socialism-induced death spiral. 

When put to a test vote in the Senate, no member, not even the plan’s co-sponsors, supported Ocasio-Cortez and Markey’s GND nonbinding resolution. Nevertheless, Democrats in Congress still praise it. Undoubtedly, many will try to resurrect it. Some Republicans already appear willing to do the heavy lifting for them, proposing watered-down Green New Deal plans under the guise of a “Green Real Deal” or a “Manhattan Project” for renewable energy.  

Whether presented as a congressional bill, resolution, or as a mere “aspiration,” the provisions of the Green New Deal pose a dangerous threat to the American values of individual freedom and limited government. It should be opposed at all costs, and in its place, lawmakers should embrace proven pro-energy policies that increase the quality of life for all people.

Author
James Taylor is a senior fellow for environment and energy policy at The Heartland Institute.
jtaylor@heartland.org