If someone asked you to describe the Green New Deal, what would you say?
According to Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., it’s a “bold idea” that would “create millions of good-paying jobs” and help “rebuild communities in rural America that have been devastated.”
Oh, you thought the Green New Deal was all about fighting climate change? Well, think again.
Turns out it’s a green-glossed Trojan horse designed to increase government control over the economy.
Just ask Saikat Chakrabarti, chief of staff to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., the author of the deal. “The interesting thing about the Green New Deal is it wasn’t originally a climate thing at all,” Chakrabarti said. “We really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing.”
Just how much change would the Green New Deal bring to the economy? Put simply, it would bring it to its knees.
We know, because when we tried to use the Energy Information Administration’s National Energy Model to assess how the plan would affect the economy, the model crashed.
The Green New Deal is big on vision, but sparse on details. For example, it calls for reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 60% below 2010 levels by 2030, with the ultimate goal of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050. But it doesn’t say how to get there.
One thing is clear: to meet these goals, Washington would have to force all Americans to reduce their energy consumption and/or switch to “green” energy sources—and fast. And the only way to do that is to impose coercive taxes and regulations.
To assess the economic effects of such a scheme, we started by looking at a carbon tax—the most popular recommendation of those asking government to “nudge” us off of fossil fuels.
Using the Energy Information Administration’s model, we tested to see how high a carbon tax would have to go to meet the Green New Deal’s emission targets. We ratcheted the tax up to $300 per ton, which dropped emissions 58% below 2010 levels—but not until 2050.
That left us far short of reaching the deal’s targets,