By Michael Bastasch
The Green New Deal backed by Democratic presidential candidates could cost American households $2,546 per year just to decarbonize the power sector, according to an American Action Forum report.
The report found just meeting the Green New Deal’s goal of powering the U.S. with “clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources” within 10 years could cost over $5 trillion.
“The capital cost associated with replacing these resources is $5.36 trillion,” wrote AAF’s energy policy director Philip Rossetti. “The increase in annual operation and maintenance costs would be approximately $118 billion annually. These costs would be offset by $89 billion of reduced fuel and capital costs for fossil fuel power plants.”
“The total net difference in annual costs, assuming a 20-year capital recovery for new assets, would be $321 billion annually, or $2,546 per household every year,” Rossetti wrote.
Democrats supporting the Green New Deal say cutting greenhouse gas emissions, chiefly through phasing out fossil fuels, would result in net public health and climate benefits.
Rossetti, however, found that even using the Obama administration’s “social cost of carbon” estimate — a hotly debated figure —the costs of greening the electric grid would greatly outweigh any alleged benefits.
“Using the methodology for measuring climate benefits established by the Obama Administration, the most defined aspects of the GND capture few benefits, while likely employing methods that would lead to costs multiple times greater than the benefits,” Rossetti wrote.
Likewise, achieving the goals of the Green New Deal — net-zero greenhouse gas emissions — would have a barely detectable impact on projected global warming, according to U.S. government climate models.
New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey introduced the Green New Deal in February to cheers from environmentalists that spent months pressuring lawmakers to support the bill.
The Green New Deal calls for net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in 10 years, vastly expanding the welfare state and enacting a number of “social justice” programs aimed at “repairing historic oppression.”
Democratic presidential candidates, including Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Cory Booker of New Jersey, co-sponsored the Senate version of the bill. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a 2020 contender, recently released a climate change plan remarkably similar to the Green New Deal.
Republicans said the Green New Deal was socialism, and AAF was quick to come out with a report showing that, when added together, the costs of the of the bill’s goals add up to $93 trillion.
The Senate voted down the Green New Deal in late March with not a single Democrat voting in favor of the bill. The House is not expected to vote on its version of the bill, despite calls for hearings from both sides of the aisle.
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