Beware of Sore Winners...
NYC Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, an avowed socialist, has made it clear the Green New Deal (GND) is her strategy to replace America's free-enterprise system with the failed policies of the former Soviet Union and other socialist regimes, including Venezuela, whose resource rich economy remains in the midst of a socialism-induced coma.

According to my friend James Taylor, not the musician, but the senior fellow for environment and energy policy at The Heartland Institute, the Green New Deal’s dependence on renewable energy sources such as wind and solar would cause tremendous and far-reaching environmental harm.
For example, according to Save The Eagles International, wind turbines already likely kill more than 10 million birds and bats each year, including an untold number of endangered and protected species.

This staggering and tragic number is 10 to 20 times higher than originally thought.

Moreover, according to a study published in the June 2019 edition of Environmental Progress News, solar panels create 300 times more toxic waste per unit of energy produced than nuclear power plants. Green energy indeed.

Let’s consider some of the GND’s radical provisions: it would not only effectively ban air travel, but as mentioned, it would mandate the use of costly and deadly renewable energy sources.

It would mandate the conversion of our electric power grid and all gasoline-powered vehicles to green energy at a cost estimated to be at least $13 trillion, or more than $100,000 per household.

In total, at least according to the Congressional Budget Office, and the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Green New Deal could perhaps end up becoming the most expensive proposal in U.S. history at a cost to U.S. Taxpayers of nearly $100 trillion in its first 10 years alone.

To help put this figure in some proper perspective, our current federal budget is about $4.4 trillion...and out annual GDP is roughly $20 trillion.

The GND is so radical, and so extreme, not a single member of the United States Senate, including the plan’s co-sponsors, signed on to Cortez’s nonbinding resolution when given the opportunity. But you know who did? Supervisors Das Williams, Joan Hartman, and Gregg Hart.

There is ample evidence to suggest the Green New Deal’s extreme provisions are unnecessary.

The following statistics are taken directly from the U.S. Energy Information Administration and the U.S. Environmental protection Agency, which when looked at in totality, reveal an inconvenient truth; improved air quality is one of America’s most remarkable environmental success stories .  

For example, since 1990, the U.S. population has increased by 30 percent, electricity generation has increased by 38 percent, and U.S. GDP has doubled (in inflation-adjusted dollars). And yet, during those three decades according to a study published by the Heartland Institute, consider what occurred:

  • Ozone concentrations decreased 22 percent,
  • Particulate matter concentrations decreased 40 percent,
  • Nitrogen dioxide concentrations decreased 50 percent,
  • Carbon monoxide concentrations decreased 77 percent,
  • Lead concentrations decreased 80 percent, and
  • Sulfur dioxide concentrations decreased 88 percent

All of this brings to mind a point I made at a recent hearing in front of the Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources. The hearing was to consider the risks to our ground water from a proposed local onshore oil and gas project.

After listening to one environmentalist after another lament the current state of our planet, every one of whom suggesting we are living on the precipice of global catastrophe, caused, of course, by our use of fossil fuels, it occurred to me, these people are sore winners.

Environmentalists, after all, can rightly claim credit for a whole host of federal and state government agencies, state and local policies, ordinances, and mandates created to protect our environment and to conserve our planets natural resources.

Here are some of them to only name a few:

  • Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources, the
  • California Environmental Quality Act, the
  • California Environmental Protection Agency,
  • Environmental Impact Reports, the
  • California Air Resources Board, the
  • California Energy Commission, the
  • Regional Water Quality Control Board,
  • Air Pollution Control Districts,
  • Local Agency Formation Commissions,
  • General Plans, circulation elements, and transportation plans, Climate Action Plans

And the list goes on and one and on...
But it’s never enough. There’s always another rule, another fee, another tax, another regulation, another mandate, an additional public hearing, a revised application, a revisited rule, a new fee, a recirculated EIR, and all too often, even after complying with all of that, the reward at the end of the bureaucratic maze and expensive public process is a likely denial due to incompatibility, inadequate mitigation's, etc.

The deck has been stacked against business and industry, homeowners and ultimately families. The environmentalists almost always win, while pretending they're losing...and everybody else almost always loses. And yet, still, they cry stop! Oppose! Deny! Keep it in the ground!

When will it ever be enough?  When will Lucy leave Charlie's football on the ground? 
Joe Armendariz is the Executive Director of the Santa Barbara County Taxpayers Association and director of business development for Armendariz Partners.