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Green New Deal: Making It Work

At last a proposal for a Green New Deal has been introduced in Congress by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY (AOC), and Senator Ed Markey, D-MA, as a joint resolution with an outline of basic principles.

The intent of the Green New Deal is threefold: First, reduce carbon dioxide emissions close to zero by 2030. Second, pull carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and sequester it in bio-mass through agriculture and forestry. Third, use the multi-trillion-dollar investments necessary to build the renewable energy and carbon sequestration infrastructure to create millions of new jobs and strengthen communities.

This is not a plan for changes on the margins designed not to upset business and fossil fuel pollution as usual. Exxon-Mobil, for example, is bankrolling efforts to support a carbon tax. The oil men and women are content with a slow, albeit inevitable, decline in oil use. They are well aware of willingness of their customers to accept wild swings in oil prices. A modest and slowly rising carbon tax will be a shoulder shrug or a switch to a higher miles-per-gallon auto.

A Green New Deal is an Investment Plan

A Green New Deal should focus on investment in a sustainable future that cuts costs for the average consumer, not on raising taxes. The mission is not saving the lavish lifestyles of the rich at the expense of the poor and middle income. That’s the message of the French yellow vest movement in response to sudden imposition of even higher gas taxes.

Mandating a ten-year phase out of fossil fuel electricity generation, fossil fuel powered vehicles, and fossil fuel home heating will slash operating expenses. By replacing high fuel costs for oil and gas with zero fuel costs renewables, the Green New Deal will put money back in peoples’ pockets.

An electric vehicle (EV) fuel cost is equal to about $1.00 a gallon, a savings of $1200 a year for the average 15,000-mile-a-year driver, with an extra $300 in savings on oil and filter changes for a total of $1500 in savings a year. The batteries of the EV will able be able to help power your house and power the grid for further saving. Government can provide patient loan financing from a Green Infrastructure bank for building the EV charging infrastructure, which would become a cash cow once there were sufficient numbers of EVs on the road.

A Green New Deal will make economic growth mean ecological improvement and the creation of millions of good sustainable jobs. We need Congressional 10-year mandates for 100% renewable portfolio standards, phase out of gasoline cars, and fossil fuel heating. This investment, given mandates, will be substantially financed by private capital, supported not by carbon taxes, but by patient loans, if needed, by a Green Infrastructure bank, community revenue bonds, short term targeted tax credits, and consumer rebates.

As a builder of solar farms, it’s clear to me there is plenty of private capital available to finance mandated zero-fuel-cost renewable development with modest subsidies in an industry where capital costs are dropping 4 to 5% a year. The renewable future in ten years will exist—with zero pollution, zero waste, and zero subsidy—as an enormous job creator. The renewable power future is not pie in the sky. It’s pie on our dining room tables. Social and ecological justice is now attainable.

Into the Streets

The prospects for climate change leading inexorably to global ecological collapse is finally sparking debate on the bold steps necessary, on the scale of a WWII mobilization, to act before the geophysical forces we have unleashed foreclose our options to avoid global catastrophe. Nationally and internationally, youth-led Sunrise and Zero Hour movements are increasingly active with mass protests in the US planned for March 15, 2019. The decade after Donald Trump leaves the scene will be crucial in helping determine the shape of things to come for our collective futures. Now is the time to let the Green New Deal be among the first steps taken by the next administration.

Roy Morrison builds solar farms. His next book, forthcoming, is EEG: Reversing Climate Change and Building an Ecological Civilization.

Fact check

AOC’s Green New Deal Resolution Is Utopian – and Pragmatic


ExxonMobil gives $1 million to promote a carbon tax-and-dividend plan

https://www.washingtonpost.com/…/exxonmobil-gives-million-promote-carbon-tax-and-…Oct 9, 2018 – ExxonMobil will give $1 million over two years to a group promoting a plan that would taxthe carbon content of fuels, including the oil giant’s products, and return the proceeds of the tax to Americans.

Electric vehicles mpg equivalent

2019 Electric Car MPG: Tesla vs Nissan vs Chevy | EnergySageJan 17, 2019 – Compare miles per gallon (MPG) efficiency for top electric vehicle brands. Miles per gallon for electricvehicles (MPGe, or “miles per gallon equivalent”). A higher efficiency rating will mean lower electricity costs per mile.https://www.energysage.com/electric-vehicles/buyers-guide/mpg-electric-vehicles/