The green destruction of Wisconsin

Matt Kittle:

Make no mistake, taxpayers of all income levels — not just the wealthy — would pay dearly should the fantastical, socialist Green New Deal ever become law.

That’s not a threat. That’s a fact that more and more Green New Deal warriors like U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan are more than happy to admit. 

The Madison Democrat this week on Wisconsin Public Radio likened the massive environmental and social welfare proposal to America’s quest to put a man on the moon. 

“When we put a person on the moon we made a serious effort from government to do just that. We invested a lot in space exploration,” Pocan said. 

But the cost to put a man on the moon, even in today’s dollars, pales in comparison to the trillions upon trillions of dollars that would be required to implement the sweeping energy, environmental and social welfare changes found in the Green New Deal. 

The Apollo program cost a total of about $19.4 billion, according to NASA’s Apollo budget appropriations between 1960 and 1973. That amounts to about $225 billion in today’s dollars for all of those rockets, space modules and NASA scientists, based on Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation calculators. 

The Green New Deal resolution introduced last week by U.S. Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), the face of the radical left scheme, calls for transforming the nation’s power portfolio to 100 percent renewable within a decade. 

While economic experts and people grounded in reality assert such a drastic change is impossible, going to “net-zero” carbon dioxide emissions in a decade is just the beginning for the green dreamers.  

As the Heritage Foundation’s Stephen Moore aptly put it in a Boston Herald column Wednesday, the GND “also includes a whole social justice agenda that features everything from (Bernie Sanders’) ‘Medicare-for-all’ to a guaranteed job for all Americans, a $15-an-hour minimum wage and even regulations on how often you will be able to drive your car and fly in an airplane.” 

Ocasio-Cortez and her socialist handlers have had to do a lot of explaining and damage control after a New Green Deal “Frequently Asked Questions” explainer not in the resolution was swiftly retracted. The FAQ included some truly alarming ideas, asserting expansion of “highspeed rail at a scale where air travel stops becoming necessary,” and “economic security for all who are unable or unwilling to work.” One initiative described a goal to “fully get rid of farting cows and airplanes.” 

Ocasio-Cortez and her surrogates swear that sections of the document had been “doctored” or not ready for public viewing. But the final resolution was radical enough without prohibitions on flatulent cows and abandoning air travel.

Still, proponents of the GND, which Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) even derided as a “green dream,” speak cavalierly about the lost jobs and the massive infusion of taxpayer cash needed to make the green dream a reality.

“If we wind up transitioning to, as we should, renewable energy sources, you are going to have a displacement of jobs in people who work in the fossil fuels industry, so you have to address that,” Pocan said, calling small details like an estimated $32 trillion universal health care plan tucked into the Green New deal part of the “little side portions” that plan “detractors” are focusing on. 

But even the traditional allies of the Democratic Party, organized labor, see the ruin in rapidly implementing full renewables like solar and wind.   

“We’ve heard words like ‘just transition’ before, but what does that really mean? Our members are worried about putting food on the table,” Phil Smith, spokesman for the United Mine Workers of America, told Reuters this week. 

UWMA represents about 80,000 members, including coal miners, factory workers, health care employees, and corrections officers in the U.S. and Canada. 

“We will never settle for ‘just transition’ language as a solution to the job losses that will surely come from some of the policies in the resolution,” Yvette Pena O’Sullivan, executive director of the Laborers’ International Union of North America, told Reuters. LIUNA represents about a half a million construction workers and gave the vast majority of its political action committee House contributions in the last campaign cycle to Democrats, including $7,500 to Pocan.

Pocan’s green odyssey would deliver a beating to Wisconsin’s vital and expanding manufacturing base. While there are no estimates from the Green New Deal, a joint study by the MacIver Institute and The Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University in 2015 found that the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan would have cost Wisconsin $920 million in 2030, and reduce disposable income in the state by nearly $2 billion.

The Trump administration in October 2017 officially put an end to a draconian slate of regulations that would have dramatically increased energy rates for businesses and residential customers.  

Like the Green New Deal resolution, Obama’s green dream would have reduced carbon emissions from coal-fired electricity power plants, but only by half as much. Despite the high economic cost, the Clean Power Plan would only have changed global temperature by under two-hundredths of a degree Celsius by the end of the century, according to researchers at the CATO Institute.

Climate alarmists say that without immediate and drastic reductions in CO2 emissions over the next dozen years, the planet is courting disaster. Such environmental doomsday prophesies, some reeking of politics, have been delivered in the past. We are still here.

Wisconsin’s own former U.S. senator, the late-Gaylord Nelson (D-Wis.), creator of Earth Day, in April 1970 wrote in Look that, “Dr. S. Dillon Ripley, secretary of the Smithsonian Institute, believes that in 25 years, somewhere between 75 and 80 percent of all species of living animals will be extinct.” 

In 1989, an Associated Press climate alarmist piece included this screaming headline: “UN Official Predicts Disaster, Says Greenhouse Effect Could Wipe Some Nations Off Map.” A United Nations Environment Programme official predicted “entire nations could be wiped off the face of the earth by rising sea levels if global warming is not reversed by the year 2000.” 

Fear is what the radical left is banking on. 

Many on the green team don’t mind at all the descriptor “radical,” however. John Nichols in a piece earlier this week for the far-left Nation argued that conservatives once called Franklin Delano Roosevelt “radical,” too. Note to Nichols: Conservatives still call FDR radical and for good reason. 

As the Heritage Foundation’s Moore wrote, the big-government expansions of the 1930s failed the economy and the worker in many ways.

“Ocasio-Cortez says that to replace the millions of jobs the GND would destroy, the new guaranteed-jobs program would work like the original New Deal. But despite the fake history of the Great Depression, FDR’s make-work programs, such as the Works Progress Administration, failed miserably in their quest to end joblessness and poverty. During the eight years of the WPA, the unemployment rate averaged above 12 percent, some three times higher than today,” Stephens wrote.

Arguably, not even Roosevelt could imagine this much government takeover of the daily lives and markets of the capitalist nation he led through a war against tyranny and oppression. 

In his column, Nichols praises State Rep. Greta Neubauer (D-Racine), Wisconsin’s version of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Neubauer, a young liberal gun in the Fossil Fuel Divestment Student Network before winning election last year, “says that what matters now is an understanding of the need to advance an ambitious program ‘that provides living wage jobs and protects our environment,’” Nichols writes. 

Apparently, supporters of the Green New Deal resolution, non-binding for now, don’t see or ignore the needs of the people that they claim to most represent.

“Cutting carbon emissions is incredibly expensive. Green energy is not yet able to compete with fossil fuels to meet most of humanity’s needs. Forcing industries and communities to shift — or plying them with expensive subsidies — means everyone pays more for energy, hurting the poorest most,” Bjorn Lomborg, director of the Copenhagen Consensus Center and visiting professor at Copenhagen Business School, wrote last year in an op-ed for USA Today. Lomborg, a green energy advocate and certainly no reactionary, urged world leaders not to panic about the latest dour – and faulty – U.N. climate change report.

Neubauer, a vocal supporter of the Green Deal, did not answer MacIver News Service’s email seeking the legislator’s thoughts on the emerging details of the radical resolution. 

Like America’s moon mission, Pocan and other green dreamers say their deal would create all kinds of jobs and spin-off positions in the wind and solar business to offset the job losses forced by the socialist initiative. We’ve seen that bad movie before. Remember Solyndra? 

In peddling her socialist wish list, Ocasio-Cortez said climate change is “one of the biggest existential threats to our way of life.” A lot of economic experts feel the same about the Green New Deal. 

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