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The Green New Deal: Economics and Policy Analytics

April 23, 2019
By Benjamin Zycher

The energy portions of the Green New Deal would impose high cost, while doing little to prevent climate change.

The author of this analysis of the Green New Deal (GND) concludes, it would yield no benefits while imposing substantial economic and social costs. The GND in reality would “have no effect on climate phenomena. Instead, the GND at its core substitutes central planning in place ofmarket forces to allocate resources in the US economy, narrowly in the energy and transportation sectors and in the broad industrial, business, and housing sectors writ large.”

The temperature impact of GND’s “10-year national mobilization” to reduce US greenhouse gas emissions to “net zero” by 2050 would be virtually nil. Preventing  just  0.173 degrees Celsius of temperature rise by 2100 – almost nothing.

Yet meeting its demands in the energy sector of “meeting 100 percent of the power demand in the United States through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources . . . by dramatically expanding and upgrading renewable power sources,” would conservatively cost $490.5 billion per year, permanently, or $3,845 per year per household. GND’s “renewable electricity mandate would also create significant environmental damage — there is nothing clean about ‘clean’ electricity — and require over 115 million acres of land, an area approximately 15 percent larger than the land area of California.

A conservative estimate of meeting all of GND’s ambitious goals, including its plans for “implementing single-payer health care and an employment guarantee, providing ‘free’ college and ‘free’ family and medical leave, and investing in high speed rail is that the total economic cost of the GND would amount to approximately $9 trillion per year.