A Brief look into the Green New Deal

Several Democratic presidential candidates have come forward to support the popular Green New Deal in the hopes of garnering public opinion in their favor. Senator Corey Booker called the deal “bold” and an opportunity to revive the U.S. economy. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, also known as AOC, proposed the deal shortly after she was voted into congress.

The Green New Deal, ambitiously named after FDR’s New Deal, would revamp the US infrastructure from the ground up by assimilating new environmentally friendly guidelines. The proposal outlines key democratic ideas that are very popular with the far left of the party such as solving public transportation issues, creating jobs and retrofitting buildings to be more energy-efficient.

Despite most of the support from the more left-leaning Democrats, moderates have remained skeptical. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has also reserved her support for the proposal.

President Donald Trump has recently mocked the deal at a rally and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel is looking to schedule a floor vote in the senate after perceiving uneasiness from more moderate Democrats.

As ambitious as the Green New Deal is, many of its ideals are vague and there are difficulties estimating costs. A Center-Right Group, American Action, has analyzed Congresswoman AOC’s proposal and predicted that it could cost up to $93 Trillion, as opposed to her initial $1 trillion estimate.

Here are some key points of the 14-page proposal:

Energy:

The Green New Deal plans to increase renewable energy to 31 % by 2050, it also plans to decline the use of non-renewable energy such as coal, nuclear and natural gas. According to the US. Energy Information Administration, current renewable energy — wind, geothermal, biomass, solar – sits at 20% of all energy, while coal use is at 30 % and natural gas at 32 %.

Smart Grid:

Upgrading the nation’s electrical system by setting up a technology-focused electrical smart grid to improve reliability and efficiency. The Smart grid concept is not new. Originally, they were part of the 2009 stimulus package but according to the Congressional Research Service, the yearly $3.6 Billion agreed upon is not enough to fund the grids by 2030. The Green Deal estimates that it will cost hundreds of billions of dollars. Despite the cost, the deal would effectively improve the electrical system.

Building efficiency:

The plan proposes to make all US buildings, both private and public, “green” by ensuring maximal energy, water, safety and durability efficiency. This is another program that was attempted by the 2009 stimulus package which gave almost $5 billion for private business and $3 billion for public business. The HUD released a report on how the savings on electric and water were successful. Despite this fact, there are many buildings in the U.S., so it’s difficult to put a price tag on such a large-scale environmentally friendly endeavor.

Transportation:

By overhauling the US transportation systems, the deal plans to eliminate pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and provide clean, affordable and accessible public transportation. This comes as more of a response to the current administration’s stance of environmental and emission standards. The current administration is abandoning low emission vehicle standards and several tax incentives created for people interested in buying electric cars have also been forgotten.

Preservation and reforestation:

Fairly simple with little technology involvement, this part of the proposal focuses on battling climate change by protecting natural ecosystems and reforestation. Several countries have already begun implementing this idea, such as Brazil and Israel. The US Department of Agriculture and Forest Service has released a cost estimate for afforestation county by county.

Green Jobs:

The ambitious proposal plans to create 10 million federal “green” jobs in 10 years. These jobs would provide a livable wage for those hired and will focus on job training depending on the sector. The jobs hit a vast array of industries such as construction, pest control, and even communications.

The proposal fails to highlight the cost estimate or how it will be achieved. On a separate report released by the Center of the budget of policy Priorities, it estimates that costs could be as high a $543 billion.

You can read the Green New Deal for yourself here.

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