Acton Institute Powerblog

The Green New Deal sits on a throne of lies

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez intended the Green New Deal to cement her position as the intellectual leader of the democratic socialist movement, but even passing scrutiny caused the $93 trillion proposal to fade into obscurity. In an attempt to revive her signature plan, the New York congresswoman read the entire text of the bill during a ponderous speech before the House of Representatives.

More than a year may have passed since the plan’s critics snickered at its proposals to end air travel and abolish bovine flatulence, but some things have not changed. The budget-busting act would still cost an average of $75,168 per household. And it still rests on a series of shoddy premises and misinformed economics.

AOC’s speech, “along with the actual text of her bill, are at odds with numerous facts about pollution, regulations, and the economics of energy,” writes James D. Agresti of JustFacts.com in a probing new analysis posted on the Acton Institute’s Religion & Liberty Transatlantic website.

Agresti, who has a well-earned reputation for rigorous and trustworthy analysis of current events, explores each aspect one-by-one. He notes that regulations harm consumers while benefiting well-connected corporations:

[R]egulations and subsidies like those required to implement the Green New Deal raise energy costs. This harms consumers while increasing the revenues of corporations. Such policies have already guaranteed corporations double-digit profits on certain energy projects and supplied them with funds for executive bonuses.

He brings a transatlantic aspect to his analysis by citing the energy policy of Germany, where a rush to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy has led to widespread blackouts:

In Germany, where government is more aggressive than the U.S. in forcing the use of renewable energy, the average price of household electricity is about three times that of the United States. Yet Germany is still nowhere close to the Green New Deal’s mandate of “meeting 100 percent of the power demand in the United States through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources.” … The costs of getting to AOC’s 100 percent figure would be multiplicatively greater than the three-fold premium paid by German households. This is because when wind and solar generation increase, so do the costs of backing them up for the inevitable times when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing.

Christians determined to prudently care for creation must be informed about the science, and the economics, that lead to human flourishing. Agresti’s article is an indispensable aid to that end.

Read his full commentary here.

(Photo credit: Matt A.J. This photo has been cropped. CC BY 2.0.)

Rev. Ben Johnson

Rev. Ben Johnson is Executive Editor of the Acton Institute's flagship journal Religion & Liberty and edits its transatlantic website.