New Congress Members Support Green New Deal

This opinion originally appeared in the Detroit News on February 13, 2019. 

Right before Election Day a Gallup poll ranked voters’ top concerns: number one was healthcare (a major issue for 80 percent), followed by the economy and immigration (both at 78 percent). The rest of the list trickled down through sexism, guns, taxes, foreign policy, trade, Brett Kavanaugh, etc. Way down in 11th place out of 12 spots there was “climate change.”

The new Congress was elected by Americans whose biggest concerns (healthcare, economy, taxes) revolved around goosing a growing economy to thrive even more. But a radical agenda to rip up that economy and start over is guiding 73 members of Congress – including Michigan’s Andy Levin (D-Bloomfield Twp.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit) – who co-sponsored the so-called “Green New Deal.”

Who got them thinking this way? Talking points released by the proposal’s sponsor declare its goals for just the next ten years to be upgrading or replacing “every building” in the United States, replacing “every combustion-engine vehicle,” and even beginning the process of eliminating air travel and “farting cows.”

The sticker price for what is described as a “massive transformation of the economy” is not provided, but there is an admission that to “pour all the resources” of “every billionaire and company” into this agenda still won’t pay for it.

It has more in common with Mao Zedong’s ruinous Great Leap Forward than FDR’s New Deal.

It is impossible to know what this “Green Leap Forward” will cost to accomplish the impossible, but we can we affix a price to what was paid to get an otherwise practical nation discussing a Maoist fantasy. The estimate starts at around $100 million—in campaign cash. And, we also know who paid the big bucks to turn this into a priority for Michigan.

Four left-wing political action committees plunked down a combined total of $99 million to get their candidates elected to Congress last year. For example, the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) is a supporter of the Green New Deal. Michigan’s Levin and Tlaib are two of the 56 brand-new U.S. Representatives the LCV describes as its “environmental champions.” The Center for Responsive Politics reports the LCV Victory Fund spent $28.9 million on the 2018 midterm election. Those 56 freshmen are a potentially influential caucus promoting the Green New Deal in a chamber Democrats control by fewer than 20 seats.

NextGen Climate Action and the Sierra Club also support the Green New Deal. NextGen Climate Action Committee, run by leftist billionaire Tom Steyer, spent $63.8 million on federal politics last year, aimed at the same priorities LCV was promoting. Similarly, the Sierra Club’s political committee ponied up $1.5 million.

The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) says the Green New Deal is an “important step forward.” EDF’s Environmental Defense Action Fund chipped in $4.8 million to win eleven House and two Senate seats for Democrats.

And this is just the political spending. EDF is also an educational non-profit that spends more than $100 million per year advocating for the same policies as the candidates explicitly boosted by its political action committee.

Similarly, the Sierra Club Foundation spends more than $50 million annually, the League of Conservation Voters Education Fund $10 million per year, and Tom Steyer’s NextGen Climate America adds another $3 million annually. All together that’s likely another $300 million or more spent over the last two years.

A month into the new Congress they’re well on the way to getting what their $400 million-plus investment paid for.

But is this what Michigan voted for?

Ken Braun

Ken Braun is CRC’s senior investigative researcher and authors profiles for InfluenceWatch.org and the Capital Research magazine. He previously worked for several free market policy organizations, spent six…+ MORE BY KEN BRAUN

RELATED ARTICLE: Tom Cotton Calls Out Media for Using ‘Stalin-Like’ Techniques To Help Green New Deal

Support Capital Research Center’s award-winning journalism

Donate today to assist in promoting the principles of individual liberty in America. 

EDITORS NOTE: This CRC column with images is republished with permission.

Science is Falsifiable. Take Climate Change As An Example.

The Clear Energy Alliance produced the below video on global warming stating:

In order to know if a theory could be true, there must be a way to prove it to be false. Unfortunately, many climate change scientists, the media and activists are ignoring this cornerstone of science. In this bizarre new world, all unwelcome climate events are caused by climate change. But as legendary scientific philosopher Karl Popper noted, “A theory that explains everything, explains nothing.” Guest host Marc Morano explains.

RELATED ARTICLE: Is Global Warming Theory Scientific?

EDITORS NOTE: This video by Clear Energy Alliance is republished from their YouTube channel. The featured image is from Pixabay.

Energy & Environmental News

Again a cycle with a lot of news: Energy and Environmental Newsletter.

A continued very hot topic is the Green New Deal proposed by US Progressives. There is a separate section in the full Newsletter that addresses it. Here are some good commentaries from that collection:

The 10 Most Insane Requirements Of The Green New Deal

The Green New Deal is a leftist politician’s worst enemyGreen New Deal: The Devil Is in the Details

Green New Deal: Looks Like A Dem Parody Bill

The Green New Deal is a Prescription for Poverty

Green New Deal Would Be a Giant Leap on the Road to Serfdom

Study: Internal Contradictions of the Green New Deal

Some of the other more interesting Energy related articles are:

Bill Gates about the foolishness of renewables

Short Anti-wind video by Ohio citizens

Study: The $2.5 trillion reason we can’t rely on batteries to clean up the gridEvolution of Electricity Rates

New Huge Study: Wind Turbines Devalue nearby Homes

Abstracts for upcoming 8th International Meeting on Wind Turbine Noise

PhD Letter re Turbine Health Impacts

German citizen anti-wind effort results in installations slump

Electoral Platitudes = Energy Truama for Citizens

Goodbye to a misguided war on coal

Hot Day in Australia results in massive blackoutsWind + Natural Gas

Study: Grid Scale Electricity Storage Can’t Save Renewables

Some of the more informative Global Warming articles are:

Physicist: Don’t fall for the argument about ‘settled science’

Greenhouse-warming theory does not appear to even be physically possible

Revised: Deficiencies In the IPCC’s SR15 Special Report

Stop The Climate Stupidity

Why the Left Loves and Hates Science

The Three Major Problems with a Carbon Tax

Three New Studies: Sea Level Rise Whiplash

Note 1: We recommend reading the Newsletter on your computer, not your phone. Some documents (e.g. PDFs) are easier to read on a computer. We’ve tried to use common fonts, etc. to minimize issues.
Note 2: Our intention is to put some balance into what most people see from the mainstream media about energy and environmental issues… As always, please pass this on to open-minded citizens, and link to this on your social media sites. If there are others who you think would benefit from being on our energy & environmental email list, please let me know. If at any time you’d like to be taken off this list, simply send me an email saying that.
Note 3: This Newsletter is intended to supplement the material on our website, WiseEnergy.org. The most important page there is the Winning page.
Note 4: I am not an attorney, so no material appearing in any of the Newsletters (or our WiseEnergy.org website) should be construed as giving legal advice. My recommendation has always been: consult a competent licensed attorney when you are involved with legal issues.

There’s Not A Damn Thing Mankind Can Do to Change The Climate!

I have learned three absolutes about the climate from former White House space program adviser, consultant to NASA, and space shuttle engineer John Casey, the author of Dark Winter,

  1. The climate changes.
  2. These changes in the climate follow naturally recurring cycles.
  3. There is noting mankind can do to change these naturally recurring cycles.

QUESTION: If mankind cannot control the weather, a subset of the climate, then why does anyone believe mankind can control the climate?

The New Green Deal


Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Socialist Democrat-NY) Photo; Facebook.

Having said this, Democrat Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez believes that government can control the climate. Ocasio-Cortez is so sure that she has drafted a Green New Deal resolution to address the “impending disaster” of climate change.

Click here to see a screen shot of Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal website (which she has since taken down).

This Green New Deal resolution includes:

  1. (C) meeting 100 percent of the power demand in the United States through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources, including— (i) by dramatically expanding and up grading renewable power sources; and (ii) by deploying new capacity;
  2. (E) upgrading all existing buildings in the United States and building new buildings to achieve maximum energy efficiency, water efficiency, safety, affordability, comfort, and durability, including through electrification;
  3. (H) overhauling transportation systems in the United States to remove pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector as much as is technologically feasible, including through investment in— (i) zero-emission vehicle infrastructure and manufacturing; (ii) clean, affordable, and accessible public transit; and (iii) high-speed rail;
  4. (G) ensuring that the Green New Deal mobilization creates high-quality union jobs that pay prevailing wages, hires local workers, offers training and advancement opportunities, and guarantees wage and benefit parity for workers affected by the transition;
  5. (H) guaranteeing a job with a family-sustaining wage, adequate family and medical leave, paid vacations, and retirement security to all people of the United States;
  6. (I) strengthening and protecting the right of all workers to organize, unionize, and collectively bargain free of coercion, intimidation, and harassment;
  7. (O) providing all people of the United States with— (i) high-quality health care; (ii) affordable, safe, and adequate housing; (iii) economic security; and (iv) clean water, clean air, healthy and affordable food, and access to nature.

The Green New Deal is a massive government takeover of every aspect of the U.S. economy and individual choice: from wages and benefits, to healthcare, to unionizing all jobs, to housing, to controls on all water and food supplies, to transportation, to energy supplies. Each of these areas, and more, would be 100% under the control of the federal government should the New Green Deal become law.

The Green New Deal is Socialism on steroids.

A new Utopian society remade in the name of saving the planet.

Where Communists want to control the means of production, socialists, like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, want to regulate the means of production.

Everything would be subject to government approval, government control, government regulation and government over site. Life itself would be at the whim of government bureaucrats. If you are deemed not productive then you become useless to society and harm the planet. Therefore, you must be eliminated.

All of the key features of the New Green Deal are already available via the free and open market system. What the New Green Deal does not allow is individuals to choose life, liberty and their own pursuit of happiness. Thinking is no longer tolerated, obeying is the new mantra.

Leon Trotsky wrote:

“In a country where the sole employer is the State, opposition means death by slow starvation. The old principle: who does not work shall not eat, has been replaced by a new one: who does not obey shall not eat.”

Under the New Green Deal all decisions about all aspects of human life and living would shift from individual choice to government mandates.

Under the New Green Deal the employer is the State!

Read the Green New Deal resolution.

RELATED ARTICLES:

There’s Nothing New About the Green New Deal

California’s High-Speed Rail Failure Shows the Insanity of Green New Deal

RELATED VIDEO: Climate Change: What’s So Alarming?

EDITORS NOTE: The featured photo is by The Climate Reality Project on Unsplash.

State of the climate

In delivering his State of the Union before a joint session of Congress last night, President Trump spoke about the nation’s burgeoning economy, strong national defense, and improved opportunities being opening up for the poor and middle class.

One thing he didn’t mention, however, was climate change. And that put CNN’s John King into a tizzy:

“Every leader, whatever his party should be talking about climate change. You can have a debate about what to do about it. But that the President of the United States, at this moment in the world, did not mention climate change in even a sentence is, just frankly, a disgrace.”

Of course, global warming was dutifully mentioned in the Democratic response to the President’s speech. It was, to be sure, a throw away line. All Georgia’s Stacey Adam’s simply said was: “We can do more, [like] take action on climate change.” Apparently that was enough for Mr. King to praise her as delivering the “best response” he ever heard.

Other Democrats were similarly put off by the President’s attack on socialism. After denouncing the Venezuela’s authoritarian government, Trump boldly proclaimed, “We will never be a socialist country.”

It was a good line. A great line. It brought almost everyone, even Nancy Pelosi, to their feet.

Not, however, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She remained plopped down. Frozen. “Is this a campaign stop or a State of the Union?” she would later chirp to a reporter. As for the President’s “socialism” remarks, “I thought it was great – I think he’s scared.”

One doesn’t have to read between the lines to understand the Democrats are not happy today. The president scored well last night. They are left to nit pick.

They are right about one thing though: No, the president didn’t directly mention “global warming.” Perhaps he should have. Of course, not in the manner the Greens would suppose.

It might have been nice if the President mentioned how he saved America from the disastrous Paris Accord, redirected priorities away from enforcing senseless climate regs that hamper businesses and our military, and steered the EPA away from imposing costly rules that would have shuttered countless energy plants, lost jobs, and driven up prices. These are indeed noteworthy achievements, we believe, but probably wouldn’t have earned him any additional good will from across the aisle.

The truth is the president did talk about the environment, albeit indirectly. How so? By letting us all know how well America’s economy is humming along.

The fact of the matter is that a growing economy is good news for the environment. Countries which have full employment, robust economic growth and provide law and order are precisely the ones that can best furnish for their citizens clean air and water. Socialistic countries like Cuba, Venezuela, China and the former Soviet Union stand as rich examples of the opposite.

The President, by pushing America’s economy to perform better through tax cuts, less regulation, and unleashing our energy potential, is doing more than his predecessor did in helping us keep America’s environment better protected.

If only Mr. King and Ms. Cortez had a clue.

EDITORS NOTE: This CFACT column with images is republished with permission.

Climate modeling illusions

By Tom Harris and Dr. Jay Lehr

For the past three decades, human-caused global warming alarmists have tried to frighten the public with stories of doom and gloom. They tell us the end of the world as we know it is nigh because of carbon dioxide emitted into the air by burning fossil fuels.

They are exercising precisely what journalist H. L. Mencken described early in the last century: “The whole point of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be lead to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

The dangerous human-caused climate change scare may well be the best hobgoblin ever conceived. It has half the world clamoring to be led to safety from a threat for which there is not a shred of meaningful physical evidence that climate fluctuations and weather events we are experiencing today are different from, or worse than, what our near and distant ancestors had to deal with – or are human-caused.

Many of the statements issued to support these fear-mongering claims are presented in the U.S. Fourth National Climate Assessment, a 1,656-page report released in late November. But none of their claims have any basis in real world observations. All that supports them are mathematical equations presented as accurate, reliable models of Earth’s climate.

It is important to properly understand these models, since they are the only basis for the climate scare.

Before we construct buildings or airplanes, we make physical, small-scale models and test them against stresses and performance that will be required of them when they are actually built. When dealing with systems that are largely (or entirely) beyond our control – such as climate – we try to describe them with mathematical equations. By altering the values of the variables in these equations, we can see how the outcomes are affected. This is called sensitivity testing, the very best use of mathematical models.

However, today’s climate models account for only a handful of the hundreds of variables that are known to affect Earth’s climate, and many of the values inserted for the variables they do use are little more than guesses. Dr. Willie Soon of the Harvard-Smithsonian Astrophysics Laboratory lists the six most important variables in any climate model:

1) Sun-Earth orbital dynamics and their relative positions and motions with respect to other planets in the solar system;

2) Charged particles output from the Sun (solar wind) and modulation of the incoming cosmic rays from the galaxy at large;

3) How clouds influence climate, both blocking some incoming rays/heat and trapping some of the warmth;

4) Distribution of sunlight intercepted in the atmosphere and near the Earth’s surface;

5) The way in which the oceans and land masses store, affect and distribute incoming solar energy;

6) How the biosphere reacts to all these various climate drivers.

Soon concludes that, even if the equations to describe these interactive systems were known and properly included in computer models (they are not), it would still not be possible to compute future climate states in any meaningful way. This is because it would take longer for even the world’s most advanced super-computers to calculate future climate than it would take for the climate to unfold in the real world.

So we could compute the climate (or Earth’s multiple sub-climates) for 40 years from now, but it would take more than 40 years for the models to make that computation.

Although governments have funded more than one hundred efforts to model the climate for the better part of three decades, with the exception of one Russian model which was fully “tuned” to and accidentally matched observational data, not one accurately “predicted” (hindcasted) the known past. Their average prediction is now a full 1 degree F above what satellites and weather balloons actually measured.

In his February 2, 2016 testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space & Technology, University of Alabama-Huntsville climatologist Dr. John Christy compared the results of atmospheric temperatures as depicted by the average of 102 climate models with observations from satellites and balloon measurements. He concluded: “These models failed at the simple test of telling us ‘what’ has already happened, and thus would not be in a position to give us a confident answer to ‘what’ may happen in the future and ‘why.’ As such, they would be of highly questionable value in determining policy that should depend on a very confident understanding of how the climate system works.”

Similarly, when Christopher Monckton tested the IPCC approach in a paper published by the Bulletin of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2015, he convincingly demonstrated that official predictions of global warming had been overstated threefold. (Monckton holds several awards for his climate work.)

The paper has been downloaded 12 times more often than any other paper in the entire 60-year archive of that distinguished journal. Monckton’s team of eminent climate scientists is now putting the final touches on a paper proving definitively that – instead of the officially-predicted 3.3 degrees Celsius (5.5 F) warming for every doubling of COlevels – there will be only 1.1 degrees C of warming. At a vital point in their calculations, climatologists had neglected to take account of the fact that the Sun is shining!

All problems can be viewed as having five stages: observation, modeling, prediction, verification and validation. Apollo team meteorologist Tom Wysmuller explains: “Verification involves seeing if predictions actually happen, and validation checks to see if the prediction is something other than random correlation. Recent CO2 rise correlating with industrial age warming is an example on point that came to mind.”

As Science and Environmental Policy Project president Ken Haapala notes, “the global climate models relied upon by the IPCC [the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] and the USGCRP [United States Global Change Research Program] have not been verified and validated.”

An important reason to discount climate models is their lack of testing against historical data. If one enters the correct data for a 1920 Model A, automotive modeling software used to develop a 2020 Ferrari should predict the performance of a 1920 Model A with reasonable accuracy. And it will.

But no climate models relied on by the IPCC (or any other model, for that matter) has applied the initial conditions of 1900 and forecast the Dust Bowl of the 1930s – never mind an accurate prediction of the climate in 2000 or 2015. Given the complete lack of testable results, we must conclude that these models have more in common with the “Magic 8 Ball” game than with any scientifically based process.

While one of the most active areas for mathematical modeling is the stock market, no one has ever predicted it accurately. For many years, the Wall Street Journal chose five eminent economic analysts to select a stock they were sure would rise in the following month. The Journal then had a chimpanzee throw five darts at a wall covered with that day’s stock market results. A month later, they determined who preformed better at choosing winners: the analysts or the chimpanzee. The chimp usually won.

For these and other reasons, until recently, most people were never foolish enough to make decisions based on predictions derived from equations that supposedly describe how nature or the economy works.

Yet today’s computer modelers claim they can model the climate – which involves far more variables than the economy or stock market – and do so decades or even a century into the future. They then tell governments to make trillion-dollar policy decisions that will impact every aspect of our lives, based on the outputs of their models. Incredibly, the United Nations and governments around the world are complying with this demand. We are crazy to continue letting them get away with it.

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Dr. Jay Lehr is the Science Director of The Heartland Institute which is based in Arlington Heights, Illinois. Tom Harris is Executive Director of the Ottawa, Canada-based International Climate Science Coalition.

EDITORS NOTE: This CFACT column with images is republished with permission.

Schumer’s Green Energy Subsidies Cost Much More Than Trump’s Wall

The government is shut down over border wall funding, but only a month ago Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer asked President Donald Trump to support billions in green energy subsidies.

Schumer, a New York Democrat, in early December asked Trump to support “permanent tax incentives for domestic production of clean electricity and storage, energy efficient homes and commercial buildings, electric vehicles, and modernizing the electric grid.”

“If left unchecked, the damage caused by climate change will cause untold human suffering and significant damage to the U.S. economy,” Schumer wrote to Trump on Dec. 6.

Extending tax subsidy provisions primarily benefiting wind and solar power would cost nearly $32 billion over the next four years, according to Joint Committee on Taxation estimates. Permanently extending these tax subsidies could add billions more to the tab. The committee estimates solar and wind tax subsidies will cost more than $7 billion in 2019.

Based on committee estimates, continuing solar and wind tax subsidies is nearly six times the $5.7 billion Trump is asking from Congress for a border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The total cost of a wall to cover the nearly 2,000-mile southern border could be as high as $25 billion, according to the White House, though other estimates have put the cost of a border wall as high as $60 billion based on the projected per-mile cost.

The battle over border wall funding forced Congress to sideline its year-end debate over “tax extenders,” which includes 11 green energy-related tax benefits that would cost roughly $53 billion over 10 years if they were made permanent, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation. Extending these tax credits just one year is estimated to cost roughly $5 billion.

These energy tax subsidies expired at the end of 2017, the costliest of which are tax incentives for biodiesel, alternative fuels, and residential energy efficiency. If made permanent, those programs would cost more than nine times what Trump asked from Congress in border wall funding.

The two costliest green subsidies, the production tax credit and investment tax credit, primarily benefit wind turbines and solar panels, respectively. Many Republicans and conservative groups have called for eliminating green tax subsidies.

Both the production tax credit and investment tax credit are set to expire at the end of 2021. However, given the White House’s opposition to some green energy tax subsidies, some conservatives suggest ending those and put the funds toward a border wall.

“This only makes sense, and with the additional funds we could paint it green,” Dan Kish, a senior distinguished fellow at the free-market Institute for Energy Research, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “It’s a win-win.”

But could a deal like this ever be cut? Dan Whitten, vice president of public affairs for the Solar Energy Industries Association, doesn’t think so.

“Given its strong bipartisan support, this seems like a nonstarter,” Whitten told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

“As for the notion of terminating the existing ITC (investment tax credit), that is something we would strenuously oppose,” Whitten said. “It is one of the most successful energy incentives to date, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs and tens of billions of dollars in economic activity.”

The Solar Energy Industries Association has not asked Congress to extend the investment tax credit, which is set to sunset at the end of 2021. However, there is a permanent 10 percent investment tax credit for solar and geothermal installations.

The American Wind Energy Association did not respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

Sixteen days after Schumer sent his letter, Trump refused to sign legislation to keep the federal government open without $5.7 billion in border wall funding. Congressional Democrats refused and the government shutdown began.

The ongoing shutdown tied with the 1995-1996 shutdown during the Clinton administration, which lasted for 21 days. On Saturday, the current shutdown will become the longest in U.S. history if no deal to reopen the government is made.

Schumer’s office did not respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

COLUMN BY

Michael Bastasch

Michael Bastasch is a reporter for The Daily Caller News Foundation. Twitter: @MikeBastasch.

The Daily Signal depends on the support of readers like you. Donate now

EDITORS NOTE: This column by The Daily Signal with images is republished with permission. Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities for this original content, email licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org. The featured photo is by Pepi Stojanovski on Unsplash.

The Two Energy Futures Facing America

Energy improvement does not depend on geography or race but on the right institutions. Sustainable energy—available, affordable, and reliable—requires private property rights, voluntary exchange, and the rule of law.

here are two energy futures for America. One is freedom and prosperity. The other is politics, conflict, and waste. As with other goods and services, energy’s availability and affordability will depend on whether natural incentives and economic law are respected or hampered by government policy.

The future of free-market energy is bright and open-ended. “It’s reasonable to expect the supply of energy to continue becoming more available and less scarce, forever,” Julian Simon wrote in his magnum opus, The Ultimate Resource II. “Discoveries, like resources, may well be infinite: the more we discover, the more we are able to discover.” 

Resourceship, entrepreneurship applied to minerals, explains the seeming paradox of expanding depletable resources. Statistics confirmed Simon’s view, yet Malthusian critics belittled him as a naïve romantic. To which Simon responded: “I am not an optimist, I am a realist.”

Julian Simon had once feared overpopulation and resource depletion. The contradictory data, as he explained in his autobiography A Life Against the Grain, reversed his thinking. More people, greater wealth, more resources, healthier environment was the new finding that Simon turned into articles, books, and lectures in the last decades of his life.

Energy coordination and improvement do not depend on geography or race but on the right institutions. Sustainable energy—available, affordable, and reliable—requires private property rights, voluntary exchange, and the rule of law. Cultural and legal freedom unleash human ingenuity and problem-solving entrepreneurship, what Simon called the ultimate resource.

Philosopher Alex Epstein has reframed the energy-environmental debate in terms of human flourishing. Under this standard, consumer-chosen, taxpayer-neutral, dense, storable mineral energies are essential and moral.

Free-market energy is a process of improvement, not a state of perfection. There is always room for betterment as the good is no longer the best and as problems and setbacks occur. Profit/loss and legal consequences propel correction in a way that government intervention does not.

Problems spur improvement in ways that otherwise might not occur. “Material insufficiency and environmental problems have their benefits,” noted Julian Simon. “They focus the attention of individuals and communities, and constitute a set of challenges which can bring out the best in people.”

Government interventionism has plagued domestic energy markets in pronounced and subtle ways. Price and allocation controls during wartime and in the 1970s caused shortages of gasoline, fuel oil, natural gas, and other essential products. More subtly, tariffs, quotas, entry restrictions, efficiency edicts, punitive taxes, tax subsidies, forced access, profit guarantees, and other government intervention distort energy markets away from consumer demand.

Socialism has reversed resource abundance in nations around the world. Venezuela is today’s example and is not unlike Mexico’s plunge into nationalism a century ago. International statism is responsible for much of the price volatility experienced in global oil markets.

American citizens must be educated on the perils of politicized energy and corporate cronyism at all levels of government. Capitalist institutions need to be introduced in state-dominated oil regions. Subsoil mineral rights and infrastructure privatization are golden opportunities for wealth creation and wealth democratization around the world.

“The world’s problem is not too many people,” Julian Simon concluded, “but a lack of political and economic freedom.” He explained:

The extent to which the political-social-economic system provides personal freedom from government coercion is a crucial element in the economics of resources and population…. The key elements of such a framework are economic liberty, respect for property, and fair and sensible rules of the market that are enforced equally for all.

This message for 2019 will be the same a century hence. It is optimistic and realistic. And it points toward a continuing open-ended role for natural gas, coal, and oil as the master resource.

Let freely functioning supply meet demand, and let market demand meet supply. Banish alarmism, pessimism, and coercion—the very things that incite and define government intervention and socialism where markets can and should prevail.

COLUMN BY

Robert L. Bradley Jr.

Robert L. Bradley Jr.

Robert L. Bradley Jr. is the CEO and founder of the Institute for Energy Research.

EDITORS NOTE: This column by FEE with images is republished with permission.

Find Out The Cost Of Electricity In Your State. . .

Choose Energy has produced information on the cost of residential electricity by state. The data is most reveling.

According to Choose Energy :

Where you live affects your electricity rate

October 2018 data, the latest available, show that the average U.S. price – 12.87 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) – rose 0.5% compared with a year ago. If you live in Louisiana, you paid the lowest average residential electricity rates of any state in the country – 9.11 cents per kWh. The next lowest rate is in Arkansas, where residents pay an average of 9.34 cents per kWh.

Below are the cheapest 10 states to live in based on residential electricity rates:

RankStateOctober 2018 Electric Rate
1Louisiana9.11
2Arkansas9.34
3Washington9.68
4Utah10.32
5Idaho10.33
6Tennessee10.70
7Missouri10.71
8Kentucky10.77
9North Dakota10.83
10Georgia10.96

Below are the 10 most expensive states to live in based on residential electricity rates.

RankStateOctober 2018 Electric Rate
1Hawaii32.46
2Alaska22.51
3Connecticut21.87
4Rhode Island21.46
5Massachusetts21.30
6New Hampshire20.23
7New York19.29
8Vermont18.42
9Maine16.47
10California15.73

Residential Electricity Rates by State

(cents per kWh for latest month available)

StateAverage Electric Rate:October 2018Average Electric Rate:October 2017% up/downChoose Energy Price Index(see below)Index rank
Alabama12.4212.661.9130.348
Alaska22.5121.783.4114.841
Arizona13.2612.783.8118.044
Arkansas9.3410.178.287.412
California15.7315.700.274.44
Colorado21.8721.292.773.63
Connecticut22.0521.263.7134.449
DC13.6013.441.294.5
Delaware13.8914.202.7113.739
Florida11.6711.851.5113.337
Georgia10.9611.524.9107.834
Hawaii32.4629.3010.8141.750
Idaho10.3310.260.785.110
Illinois13.2313.120.883.89
Indiana12.3912.752.8104.430
Iowa12.8211.778.995.719
Kansas13.3213.380.4103.527
Kentucky10.7711.173.6104.329
Louisiana9.119.938.397.623
Maine16.4716.052.677.75
Maryland14.1914.371.3122.046
Massachusetts21.3020.454.2110.336
Michigan15.4215.122.089.015
Minnesota13.7213.362.790.617
Mississippi11.2211.101.1116.743
Missouri10.7111.153.996.421
Montana11.4811.232.280.77
Nebraska11.2310.893.194.418
Nevada12.1612.794.997.222
New Hampshire20.2319.871.8105.632
New Jersey14.9614.662.089.316
New Mexico12.9712.960.170.72
New York19.2918.742.999.225
North Carolina11.9411.454.3113.638
North Dakota10.8310.941.097.924
Ohio12.4812.812.696.120
Oklahoma11.0011.171.5103.928
Oregon11.2410.893.288.513
Pennsylvania14.1014.603.4102.526
Rhode Island21.4619.559.8108.735
South Carolina12.4313.014.5124.147
South Dakota12.3512.481.0104.731
Tennessee10.7010.610.8114.540
Texas11.6911.095.4116.844
Utah10.3210.511.866.91
Vermont18.4217.972.587.411
Virginia11.9011.790.9115.242
Washington9.689.760.879.96
West Virginia11.2711.975.8107.333
Wisconsin14.9414.711.688.214
Wyoming11.0811.564.281.48

EDITORS NOTE: This column by Choose Energy is republished with permission. The featured photo is by Brian Patrick Tagalog on Unsplash.

The Green New Deal Is a Trojan Horse for Socialism

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is ready to tax the rich to make her Green New Deal a reality.

“People are going to have to start paying their fair share in taxes,” the recently elected New York Democrat told TV show “60 Minutes” in an interview set to air Sunday.

Speaking of prior decades’ taxation rates in the country, Ocasio-Cortez added, “Once you get to the tippy tops, on your 10 millionth dollar, sometimes you see tax rates as high as 60 or 70 percent.”

It shouldn’t be a surprise that the avowed “democratic socialist” went with the predictable “tax the rich” formula in order to pay for a massive government program to combat climate change.

But it would hardly be good news for most Americans if Ocasio-Cortez got her way.

In fact, such a scheme would mean that her constituents in New York City would pay a max income tax rate of 82.6 percent, as Americans for Tax Reform was quick to point out. Perhaps New Yorkers deserve what they voted for, but does the country?

Interest in the Green New Deal

While Democratic House leadership has so far balked at the Green New Deal, it enjoys strong support from over 40 members of Congress, per The Daily Caller.

poll released in December also shows Americans might be more inclined than you’d think to support the plan. The poll, from the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication, showed that 8 out of 10 Americans hadn’t heard about it.

But when asked if they would support it—albeit with a very favorable description of the deal that didn’t discuss higher taxes, for instance—81 percent of registered voters said they would back it.

However, polls tend to change quickly when people learn about how much policies cost them, and the details of the Green New Deal demonstrate that it’s about more than just a higher tax on a tiny number of rich people.

A Radical Agenda

In fact, the tax hikes on the rich would be one of the least radical parts of the agenda.

It’s no exaggeration to say that if implemented, the Green New Deal would upend our way of life and destroy the liberty and prosperity that Americans, of all backgrounds, currently enjoy.

Among its goals are meeting “100 percent of national power” demand through renewable sources, retrofitting “every residential and industrial building for state-of-the-art energy efficiency, comfort, and safety,” and eliminating “greenhouse gas emissions from the manufacturing, agricultural, and other industries.

Those changes are going to come with real costs. According to an editorial for Investor’s Business Daily, moving the economy away from fossil fuels to 100 percent renewable energy will come “at a cost of about $5.2 trillion over 20 years.”

So much for America’s newfound energy renaissance that has in large part come through innovative new oil drilling techniques.

Energy Status Quo Couldn’t Change This Fast

Even if we’re willing to shoulder the costs, it’s, well, impossible to achieve.

“Producing 100 percent of electricity from renewable sources is a practical impossibility in the near future,” stated a report issued by the Senate Republican Policy Committee in December. The report, which looked at the Green New Deal, continued:

Scientists doubt it would be achievable by 2050, let alone 2029, the deadline Democrats would set. Such a massive overhaul in power generation would require the closure and replacement of about 83 percent of U.S. electricity generation, including all coal, natural gas, and nuclear plants.  … Today, renewable electricity—mainly wind, solar, and hydroelectric—provides only 17 percent of American electricity.

Make no mistake: While progressives have long been focused on green extremist policies, the Green New Deal proposals are significantly more radical than other environmentalist ideas like carbon taxes and subsidies for green industries. Foregoing the sticks-and-carrots approach to addressing climate change, this deal would instead rely on the ruthless bludgeoning of private industry and citizens through the levers of the state.

In fact, the plan outright dismisses attempts to “incentivize the private sector” toward greener policies as “simply inadequate to transition to a fully greenhouse gas-neutral economy as quickly as needed.”

Instead, the plan calls for direct government intervention to be its “prime driver.” (And in a mere 10 years, no less!)

A Trojan Horse of Liberal Goodies

But that’s not all. There’s more.

The Green New Deal doesn’t just include environmentalist proposals: It also includes a grab bag of other left-wing goodies to “mitigate deeply entrenched racial, regional, and gender-based inequalities in income and wealth (including, without limitation, ensuring that federal and other investment will be equitably distributed to historically impoverished, low-income, deindustrialized, or other marginalized communities in such a way that builds wealth and ownership at the community level.)”

Among the liberal wish list items included, the Green New Deal contains a proposal for universal health care and a basic minimum income program to make up for all the jobs lost in the process of transitioning to a fully green economy.

Of course, this will all come with an immense cost.

Citing an analysis by the Mercatus Center, Bob Moffit, a health care expert at The Heritage Foundation, wrote that the “Medicare for All” legislation proposed by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., would cost $32.6 trillion over 10 years. A universal minimum income or basic income plan would also likely cost trillions of dollarsa year.

The entire federal budget in 2018 was $4 trillion. The Green New Deal would require the U.S. to massively expand this already-bloated budget that is burying us in debt.

How do Green New Deal proponents propose to pay for this extreme growth in government?

“[I]n the same ways that we paid for the 2008 bank bailout and extended quantitative easing programs, the same ways we paid for World War II and many other wars,” the plan says. “The Federal Reserve can extend credit to power these projects and investments, new public banks can be created (as in WWII) to extend credit and a combination of various taxation tools (including taxes on carbon and other emissions and progressive wealth taxes) can be employed.”

In other words, by massively hiking taxes, and then borrowing and ultimately printing money. Then it would use public banks run by unaccountable bureaucrats to carry the whole thing out.

That’s not very democratic, but it is socialistic—an American version of a Soviet-style five-year plan focused on command-and-control economic solutions that have proven to fail the world over.

As Justin Haskins, executive editor at the Heartland Institute, wrote for the Washington Examiner: “Make no mistake about it: This is one of the most dangerous and extreme proposals offered in modern U.S. history. It’s the sort of thing you’d see in the Soviet Union, not the United States.”

The Stakes Just Got Higher

If there is one positive thing the Green New Deal does, it’s that it brings to light the fact that much of the environmentalist agenda is just a thinly veiled vehicle for implementing far-left socialism.

Given the fact that nearly half of millennials say they’d rather live under socialism or communism than capitalism, according to a 2017 poll conducted by the Victims of Communism, we shouldn’t ignore the fact that these ideas didn’t die at the end of the Cold War.

They’ve been repackaged by young, hip millennials, like Ocasio-Cortez, who can deceive a generation, mostly detached from history, into believing that the failed flim-flam sauce of socialism can somehow work this time around.

Despite overwhelming evidence of failure and suffering, the American left is now more openly embracing socialism—a worrying and disturbing trend that needs to be countered.

It’s no longer just Sanders waging this crusade in Congress. It is a growing cohort of younger, even more extreme members who are attempting to revive ideas that should have been left in the ash heap of history. As Sanders himself recently noted in a CNN interview, his 2016 campaign helped make certain positions “mainstream” that were previously “considered extreme and fringe.”

Whatever one thinks about Ocasio-Cortez, it’s undeniable that she connects with a large and growing subset of voters. Her everywoman persona and ability to seem truly genuine is making her a potent voice on the left.

The Instagram cooking advice and dance routines may be charming and relatable—especially to millennials—but attention to these trivial matters masks the radicalism and bankruptcy of her views.

Socialism is not the cure for what ails America, and it hardly takes a history lesson to figure this out.

The agony of a collapsing Venezuela, praised as an economic model for the future just a decade ago, is a stark example of how badly this can end for people of all income groups.

The Venezuelan regime started out as “democratic” socialism, too. It’s ending in failure, tyranny, and collapse.

Let’s not let dancing videos and Twitter hot takes distract us from that fact.

COMMENTARY BY

Portrait of Jarrett Stepman

Jarrett Stepman

Jarrett Stepman is an editor and commentary writer for The Daily Signal and co-host of “The Right Side of History” podcast.Send an email to Jarrett.

RELATED ARTICLE: Sorry, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, but Conservatives Don’t Care About Your Dance Moves

The Daily Signal depends on the support of readers like you. Donate now

EDITORS NOTE: This Daily Signal column with images is republished with permission. Photo: SteveSands /NewYorkNewswire/MEGA/Newscom.

VIDEO: How to be a climate thinker – Alex Epstein at Turning Point USA

Alex Epstein discusses how to be a climate thinker at Turning Point USA’s Student Action Summit on December 21st, 2018. Alex is author of The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels.

Student reactions to Alex Epstein’s speech at Turning Point USA SAS 2018

The Human Flourishing Project: New Year’s resolutions for 2019

On the latest episode of The Human Flourishing Project I discuss my resolutions for 2019, how I decided on them, and how I am going to ensure that I keep them.

You might also want to check out my earlier course, “Resolution Revolution,” which I mention in the podcast.

Visit our Facebook page and join in the discussion. And for the latest news visit humanflourishingproject.com where you can sign up to receive email updates.

More “bite-sized” video clips for you to share

One of the easiest and most effective way you can increase your energy influence is by sharing persuasive resources. That’s why I started releasing “bite-sized” clips featuring a few minutes of the best portions of my speeches and interviews.

Here are a few recent ones you might have missed:

Be sure to share these videos with anyone you think would be interested. And if you do share them, let me know how it goes.

You can find more videos on my Facebook page and on our YouTube channel.

Follow Alex at @AlexEpstein, sign up for his newsletter at http://industrialprogress.com.

EDITORS NOTE: This column with videos is republished with permission. The edited featured photo is by Alto Crew on Unsplash.

2018 Saw A Global Revolt Against Climate Change Policies

  • 2018 saw a global revolt against policies aimed at fighting global warming
  • Australia, Canada, France and the U.S. have all seen push back against global warming policies
  • That included weeks of riots in France against planned carbon tax increases

Despite increasingly apocalyptic warnings from U.N. officials, 2018 has seen a number of high-profile defeats for policies aimed at fighting global warming. Politicians and voters pushed back at attempts to raise energy prices as part of the climate crusade.

It started in June with election of Ontario Premier Doug Ford. Ontario residents overwhelmingly voted Ford’s conservative coalition into power on a platform that included axing the Canadian province’s cap-and-trade program.

Ford said his first priority upon taking office would be to “cancel the Liberal cap-and-trade carbon tax.” Ford then joined a legal challenge led by Saskatchewan against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s policy of a central government-imposed carbon tax on provinces that don’t have their own.

Carbon tax opponents called Trudeau’s plan an attempt to “use the new tax to further redistribute income, which will increase the costs of this tax to the economy.”

Roughly ten thousand miles away in Australia another revolt was brewing. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull saw his power base crumble within days of failing to pass a bill aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford speaks to the press following the First Ministers' Meeting in Montreal
Ontario Premier Doug Ford speaks to the press following the First Ministers’ Meeting in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, December 7, 2018. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi.

Turnbull’s so-called National Energy Guarantee to reduce energy sector emissions was opposed by a group of conservative members of Parliament led by former Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

Turnbull tried to delay the vote on his climate bill in response to the opposition but was too late. Turnbull stepped down in late August and has since been replaced by Scott Morrison.

Back in the U.S., $45 million was being pumped into the battle over a Washington state carbon tax ballot measure. Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee, who has 2020 presidential ambitions, supported the measure though refiners, but other opponents outspent carbon tax supporters.

The Inslee-backed measure called for taxing carbon dioxide emissions at $15 a ton in 2020, which would increase at $2 a year above the rate of inflation until the state meets its emissions goals. 

However, Washington voters rejected the carbon tax measure in the November election despite Inslee’s support. It was the second time in two years that Washington voters rejected a carbon tax ballot initiative.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee speaks during a rally at the beginning of the March For Science in Seattle, Washington

Washington Governor Jay Inslee speaks during a rally at the beginning of the March For Science in Seattle, Washington, U.S. April 22, 2017. REUTERS/David Ryder.

The November elections also saw the defeat of a group of Republican lawmakers in the House Climate Solutions Caucus. Among those defeated was caucus co-chair Florida GOP Rep. Carlos Curbelo, who introduced carbon tax legislation in July.

Curbelo’s legislation called for a $23 per ton carbon tax that would primarily fund the Highway Trust Fund. Despite this, environmentalists funneled money to his Democratic challenger Debbie Mucarsel-Powell.

Shortly after the U.S. elections, it became clear trouble was brewing across the Atlantic in France. French President Emmanuel Macron’s economic reforms, which included planned fuel tax increases, were not winning over much of the population.

Macron spent years styling himself as a staunch supporter of efforts to tackle global warming, including the Paris agreement. Indeed, raising taxes on diesel and gasoline was part of Macron’s plan to meet France’s Paris accord pledge.

It backfired. Angered over the new carbon taxes on fuel, tens of thousands of protesters, called “yellow vests” for the vests drivers are required to have in their cars, took to the streets calling for an end to the taxes and for Macron to resign.

French President Emmanuel Macron attends a joint news conference with President of Burkina Faso Roch Marc Christian Kabore at the Elysee Palace in Paris

French President Emmanuel Macron attends a joint news conference with President of Burkina Faso Roch Marc Christian Kabore (not seen) at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, December 17, 2018. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier/Pool.

Macron initially resisted, arguing France needed to do more to address global warming, but the French government capitulated in December and scrapped the planned tax increases. Macron also said he’d increase the minimum wage and begged companies to raise salaries, if possible.

Macron’s backpedaling on climate policy couldn’t have come at a worse time for the climate-conscious president. The U.N. annual climate summit was being held in Poland as Macron conceded to the “yellow vests.”

France’s carbon tax revolts sent a clear message to Democratic lawmakers across the Atlantic Ocean. Democrats will take control of the House in 2019 and want to make global warming a central part of their agenda.

Democrats and even environmentalists distanced themselves from carbon taxes in the wake of French riots. However, far-left Democrats are pushing “Green New Deal” legislation, which could become the largest expansion of government in decades.

Follow Michael on Facebook and Twitter

RELATED ARTICLES:

Ocasio-Cortez’s “Green New Deal” Represents the True Wishes of Democrats and Globalists

2018’s Biggest Loser Was the Liberal International Order

Greenpeace’s Iconic ‘Rainbow Warrior’ Ship Chopped Up On A Third-World Beach, Sold For Scrap

EDITORS NOTE: This column with images by The Daily Caller is republished with permission. Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

A New Study Could Spell Trouble For The Future Of Wind Energy

Wind energy resources have been in sharp decline in regions all across the world, according to a study conducted by Chinese researchers.

After analyzing data from more than 1,000 weather stations around the world, a team of researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences found that 67 percent had witnessed an extensive decrease in wind power potential over the course of nearly 40 years. The team — which also induced a researcher from Purdue University — reached their findings after examining the changes of wind surface speeds from 1979 to 2016.

“The results show that surface wind speeds were decreasing in the past four decades over most regions in the Northern Hemisphere,” the study’s authors wrote, according to a Greentech Media report on Wednesday.

Around 30 percent of locations in North America have witnessed a 30 percent drop or more in available hub-height wind power. Sites in Europe were worse, where about 40 percent experienced a similar decline. However, the effect was the most significant in Asia, where around 80 percent of sites on the continent saw a 30 percent drop in wind.

It’s not immediately clear what is behind the decline of wind across the Northern Hemisphere. Dr. Gang Huang, a corresponding author of the research, revealed to Greentech Media that they are currently performing a follow-up study to help determine possible causes.

Huang surmised that surface cover changes — such as the fast expansion of cities in developing countries — could possibly be affecting wind speeds, but maintained that it’s just an assumption. Increases in carbon dioxide emissions have also been predicted to decrease wind power.

Another cause could be the expansion of wind energy technology itself. A study published in November found that wind farms upwind from other turbines reduced their electricity generation. This “wake effect,” the study found, reduces wind speed and affects turbines downwind from their direction. The research team from the Chinese Academy of Sciences did find that the most dramatic decreases in wind power in China tended to occur “where a number of gigantic commercial wind farms were built.”

However, other experts warn to use caution before reaching conclusions.

“We need to take these kinds of studies with a pinch of salt, with all due respect to them. Maybe it’s true, but would it have an impact on the industry? I don’t know,” said Shashi Barla, an analyst with Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables. Barla added that a drop in wind power could be offset with advancement in wind turbine technology.

No matter what changes with wind power in the United States, wind energy is expected to make up an increasing part of the country’s generation industry. State governments across the country continue to increase their renewable energy mandates, with wind generation already a major presence in Midwestern states.

The Trump administration has been a major backer of wind energy development. The Interior Department announced a $405 million offshore wind auction that shattered all previous records.

COLUMN BY:

Jason Hopkins

Energy Investigator. Follow Jason on Twitter.

RELATED ARTICLE: Lawmakers Overwhelmingly Vote To Modernize US Nuclear Fleet

EDITORS NOTE: This column with images by The Daily Caller is republished with permission. Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

House Democrats Are Lining Up Behind What Could Be The Largest Expansion Of Government In Decades

  • Democrats are lining up to support Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “Green New Deal.”
  • The proposal could be the largest expansion of government since the Great Society or New Deal.
  • Ocasio-Cortez’s plan could cost tens of trillions of dollars.

Democrats are increasingly lining up to support a “Green New Deal,” which, while vague on details, could end up being the largest expansion of government in decades.

As it stands, the “Green New Deal” is more aspirational than actual policy. Indeed, it takes its name from the New Deal of the 1930s, and its main backer, incoming Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, compared it to the Great Society of the 1960s.

More than 40 Democratic lawmakers support the “Green New Deal” as part of a broad plan to fight global warming and bring about what they see as “economic, social and racial justice.” A poll found most Americans supported the deal, but knew little about it.

But the big question is when Americans find out what’s in the “Green New Deal,” will they be willing to pay for it?

Ocasio-Cortez’s “Green New Deal” calls for creating a House committee to draft legislation to fight global warming and turn the U.S. economy into something akin to what Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders envisions. Indeed, the “Green New Deal” could be a preview of what policies the Democratic Party will back in the 2020 elections.

Democratic congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaks at her midterm election night party in New York City

Democratic congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaks at her midterm election night party in New York City, U.S. November 6, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly.

“This is going to be the New Deal, the Great Society, the moon shot, the civil-rights movement of our generation,” Ocasio-Cortez said at a panel event in early December alongside Sanders, a likely 2020 presidential contender.

Those goals include moving the U.S. to 100 percent green energy, federal job guarantees for workings forced out of their fossil fuel jobs, guaranteed minimum income and universal health care.

Democrats will take control of the House in 2019 and many want to see global warming become a central part of their agenda. Republicans are unlikely to go along with a green deal in any form, and cracks are even appearing among Democrats on climate policy.

Since the “Green New Deal” lacks specifics, it’s hard to gauge the total cost, but similar climate and welfare policies are estimated to cost trillions of dollars.

For starters, moving the U.S. to a 100-percent renewable electric grid could cost as much as $5.2 trillion over two decades, according to a 2010 study by the conservative Heritage Foundation. That’s about $218 billion to move the grid away from coal and natural gas.

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks after the senate voted on a resolution ending U.S. military support for the war in Yemen on Capitol Hill in Washington

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks after the senate voted on a resolution ending U.S. military support for the war in Yemen on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., December 13, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Robert.

On top of that, the non-energy-related portions of the Green New Deal could cost trillions more, including universal health care and guaranteed income.

The libertarian Mercatus Center released a study in July that found Sanders’s “Medicare for All” plan would cost $32.6 trillion over 10 years. That same month, hedge-fund manager Ray Dalio estimated the cost to taxpayers of a universal basic income policy would top $3.8 trillion a year — and that’s assuming every American citizen got just $12,000 a year.

For comparison, the Great Society policies pursued by the Johnson administration during the 1960s cost $22 trillion, according to estimates from the Heritage Foundation. Former President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “New Deal” of the 1930s during the Great Depression cost $500 billion in today’s dollars, The Nation reported in 2008.

Of course, both the New Deal and Great Society have left U.S. taxpayers on the hook for trillions in debt and unfunded liabilities — somewhere between $87 trillion and $222 trillion.

COLUMN BY

Michael Bastasch

Energy Editor. Follow Michael on Facebook and Twitter

RELATED ARTICLES:

Democrats Are At Each Other’s Throats Over An Issue That Barely Got Mentioned In The 2018 Elections

Democrats’ ‘Green Raw Deal’ Will Deliver Only Socialism And Misery

RELATED VIDEO: Murdering Mother Earth.

EDITORS NOTE: This column with images by The Daily Caller is republished with permission. Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Texas City Featured in Al Gore’s ‘Inconvenient Sequel’ Lost Millions in Its Green Energy Gamble

Former Vice President Al Gore hailed the city of Georgetown, Texas, for powering itself with only solar and wind energy, but now the city is losing millions on its green energy gamble.

Georgetown’s bet against fossil fuel prices cost the city-owned utility nearly $7 million this year, and prompted officials to look for a way out of their long-term contracts for solar and wind energy.

“It’s costing them big time,” Bill Peacock, vice president of research at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, told The Daily Caller News Foundation in an interview. “This doesn’t appear to be the first time they’ve lost money, just the first time it was big enough to have to go public with it.”

Georgetown made national news after being featured in Gore’s film “An Inconvenient Sequel,” which was released in 2017. The film followed up on Gore’s inaccurate 2006 film “An Inconvenient Truth.”

“I think Georgetown is already a trailblazer,” Gore said during his 2016 visit to learn about Georgetown’s plan to get 100 percent of its energy from wind and solar power.

“And one thing that Georgetown demonstrates to other places that are just beginning to think about it is that the power supply is not only more affordable, the cost is predictable for at least 25 years into the future and really beyond that,” Gore said.

Standing next to Gore when he made those remarks was Mayor Dale Ross, the town’s Republican part-time mayor. Smithsonian Magazine called Ross the “unlikeliest hero of the green revolution.”

“This is a long-term pocketbook issue,” Ross said in August. “It’s a win for economics and a win for the environment.”

Ross said the decision was based on dollars and cents, not environmental concerns, but now the city is trying to renegotiate its long-term green energy contracts.

The Daily Caller News Foundation was scheduled to interview Ross on Saturday. The mayor canceled the phone interview, but did not respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s inquiry about rescheduling.

Since being featured in Gore’s film, other media outlets have asked if Georgetown is the “future” of U.S. cities. However, Peacock said Georgetown is becoming more of a cautionary tale.

“They went all-in on one thing. Anybody looking at this from a financial standpoint could have foreseen these problems,” Peacock said. “This doesn’t seem to be getting any better.”

The Texas Public Policy Foundation is suing Georgetown for the pricing details of its long-term solar contracts. Energy rates are considered trade secrets under Texas law and must be sought with a government records request.

Georgetown began its shift toward 100 percent wind and solar energy several years ago, and the city says it reached that goal in July after the Buckthorn solar plant went online. The city owned utility contracts with Buckthorn and the Spinning Spur 3 wind farm for all its power needs.

Georgetown Utility Systems contracted to buy wind and solar at fixed prices until 2035 and 2043, respectively. Georgetown is obligated to buy about twice as much power as it actually needs from green power plants. The city is the first in Texas and the second-largest in the U.S. to go 100 percent renewable.

The idea was that Georgetown would have enough green power to grow into at fixed prices, avoiding market volatility and what it saw as the rising costs of fossil fuels. In the meantime, Georgetown would sell any excess power back to Texas’ electricity market.

But energy prices plummeted in recent years, particularly natural gas prices, meaning the city lost money selling power back to the market. Georgetown Budget Manager Paul Diaz told city councilors in late November the utility had lost $6.84 million. City officials are looking for ways to make up the shortfall.

“[Georgetown Utility Systems] is in the process of opening negotiations with our current energy suppliers to adjust the terms of our contracts,” City Councilman Steve Fought wrote in an email to constituents.

“Additionally, we are working to change our management strategy for daily energy market operations,” Fought wrote in his Nov. 26 email. “We also need to implement belt tightening measures in the electric department and shift funds to balance the GUS accounts.”

Georgetown Utility Systems’ energy costs were more than $23 million over budget in 2016 and 2017, according to Lisa Linowes, the founder of the anti-wind power group Wind Action.

Fought did not respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment. Representatives for Gore also did not respond to The Daily Caller News Foundation’s inquiry.

COLUMN BY

Michael Bastasch

Michael Bastasch is a reporter for The Daily Caller News Foundation. Twitter: @MikeBastasch.

EDITORS NOTE: This column with images is republished with permission. Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities for this original content, email licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org. Photo: Beata Zawrzel/Sipa USA/Newscom.