Sundance Times - Continuing the Crook County News Since 1884

By Mike Enzi
U.S. Senator, R-Wyo 

Green New Deal is a bad deal for Wyoming

 

March 28, 2019



By U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo.

The Green New Deal, plain and simple, is a pipe dream for forcing a massive expansion of socialist policies on the American people.

Some might say this is an overdramatic statement, but this 14-page bill lays it out in black and white, written in plain English. There isn’t much ambiguity when you describe your legislation as “...a new national, social, industrial and economic mobilization on a scale not seen since World War II and the New Deal era…”

What does it mean in practical terms?

It means eliminating abundant, affordable and reliable U.S. energy sources that currently provide power to three-out-of-five American homes and businesses.

It means higher electrical costs for families, and ending coal, oil and gas jobs that our families and communities rely on in Wyoming.

It means eliminating combustion cars, lawn mowers and commercial airliners.

It means rebuilding or renovating 137 million housing units and more than six million commercial buildings, schools and government offices to new standards set by Washington, D.C.

It means completely upending our farmers’ way of life and overhauling our agricultural sector. There has even been talk of getting rid of cows…seriously. It is clear that no sector of the economy will be left unharmed.

And what is the Green New Deal going to cost? The best guess so far is that we would need to spend roughly $10 trillion more than the entire recorded spending of the U.S. government since 1789. In order to break even on this proposal alone, the federal government would have to take nine out of every ten dollars that every single American earns.

When it comes to the size of the government, there are those that always seem to think that bigger is better. Well nothing will grow the size of the government quite like the Green New Deal.

The Green New Deal is unrealistic, unworkable and unaffordable. The best path for our country does not start by embracing the policies of Cuba, the Soviet Union or China under the “Great Leap Forward”.

The Senate is expected to vote on the Green New Deal this week. Hopefully it is handedly rejected, but it is important to note that this resolution is not the only way forward. We do not need to create a massive expansion of intrusive government programs and completely upend our economy to help change the way we use energy for the better.

We should support both fossil fuels and renewable resources. America has a host of options for energy development, from coal, natural gas, nuclear, hydro, oil, solar, wind — we have them all. And regardless of where one stands on the issue of climate change, it makes sense to enact practical energy and environmental policies. 

The best way to address emissions and air pollutants is to develop innovative new technologies that keep energy affordable and reliable. Carbon capture and sequestration will be key to advancing energy development into the years ahead. Using new technology will help make traditional energy sources cleaner while we work to incorporate more alternative and renewable energy sources. This also allows us to move toward more efficient energy production without imposing policies that would create severe economic damage.

And the United States’ efforts alone cannot solve global emissions issues. India and China are two of the largest polluters in the world and their emissions are growing every day. China is currently constructing hundreds of new coal power plants, each of which will burn their terrible coal because they have little access to our comparably clean coal. And while the United States is also currently one of the biggest energy producers, we are already leading the world in reducing greenhouse-gas emissions.

In 2017, carbon emissions in the U.S. were the lowest they have been since 1992. By working to develop new technology, we can make it a truly global effort to produce energy more efficiently. Wyoming has already taken the lead on such research and development by investing in the Wyoming Integrated Test Center (ITC) at the Dry Fork Station in Gillette.

The Green New Deal has been sold as a deal to limit greenhouse-gas, but in reality, it would be the largest and most disruptive expansion of federal government programs that our country has ever seen. Instead of trying to end fossil fuel development and implementing the largest expansion of government regulations and social welfare programs our country has ever seen, we should be focused on technological solutions to help ensure our energy is affordable, reliable and cleaner.

 
 

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