The Green New Deal: Better in Theory?

Jack Breezley, Reporter



The Green New Deal is not necessarily a bad idea. I’m all for protecting the environment, but the ways and goals that the Green New Deal outlines are absurd and unrealistic, so here’s why why the bill won’t work.

It is also important to note the bill is a bill, it hasn’t passed through Congress yet, so nothing currently has happened to the bill. As well as that, the bill is nonbinding which means if it passes through congress nothing could be done for years. The fact that its nonbinding puts lowers it on the list of laws to be implemented after it supposedly passes, so this limits some of the goals time wise the bill has aimed to achieve.

One of the first goals the bill aims to achieve is be a 100% clean energy in the USA within ten years. The first problem that arises with this is the time goal, ten years. As said earlier, because the bill is nonbinding nothing could be done for years, only shortening or postponing goals. According to NPR, ten years is out of thought, even 30 years is very ambitious. On top of this, many energy issues arise.

The vast majority of cars and ground vehicles in the US rely on fossil fuels (petroleum and oil) so the transition for so many drivers would be a difficult one. Not to mention any car companies that don’t start to produce electric vehicles would soon go out of business or lose mass amounts of profit.

Assuming we transitioned from non renewable to renewable resources, would we still be able to get the energy we need to fuel an ever so growing country? The answer, most likely not. Currently in the US we rely on 20% renewable resources (including nuclear)(EIA). This includes hydro, wind, solar, geothermal, and biomass. However, many of these wouldn’t make the cut in the future.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports that wind, solar, and geothermal would not be enough to support us, and would cost taxpayers unreasonable amounts. Only biomass, nuclear, and hydro are economically reasonable and can create enough energy for an 100% clean environment. Even still, nuclear is still debated as being a safe source of energy, and dams (hydro) block rivers and destroy river ecosystems.

Again, saving the environment is a great idea, but going 100% clean energy in 30 years (the soonest possible[NPR]) would take a toll on our economy and workforce. Thousands would lose their jobs, specifically coal miners, factory workers, car manufacturers, ect. Back to cars though.

Electric cars are good ideas as well, but they have a measly ranger of 200 miles per charge, where is the average gasoline car can travel about 400 miles. That means if you drove from Los Angeles to New York City it would take at least 13 charges. Again, many workers for car companies and car companies could be hit extremely hard by a change to all electric cars.

Another vehicle related aspect that the bill proposes is extending high speed electric trains to all cities. According to Statista there are more than 19,500 cities in the US, only 3,000 of which have a population of 10,000 or more. This would mean extensive mappings and rail lines for travelers. Even the bullet train in Japan (Fastest Passenger Train in the World) goes 200 mile per hour. This means and LA to NYC train ride would take nearly 14 hours, where as a plane can do it in 6 hours.

Surly not every country in the world could afford all round rail transport, and for nations across oceans, plane is going to be faster than boat or train. So if you wanted to leave the country to head to London or Berlin or Paris, plane will be the fastest option. This is another flaw in the bill, as travel should be as fast as possible, not slower than it already is.

More problems with the bill don’t even have anything to do with the environment! The bill outlines jobs for every American, yes every, and required paid vacations. Now for many small family owned business, paid vacations would take a toll on them and drive them out of business. And for jobs for all, 206 million, where do you find that many jobs. Many of the 206 million aren’t currently working, and for and ever growing workforce, how can you ensure that every citizen gets a job?

High quality free healthcare for all is another proposal outlined by the bill. Now not a bad idea, this would come straight from the taxpayers (us) wallets, and that would be a hefty price. In total, NPR says it could cost 7 trillion dollars.

With all of this, there isn’t even a chance it could get passed through congress. Some argue it is not bipartisan enough, that healthcare for all isn’t something all senators want. Also plenty of citizens may not want this bill to be passed either, as they may not support it or would be hurt by some of the proposals.

The final conflict with the Green New Deal is the cost. Although tough to estimate, multiple sources including Statista, NPR, and The Washington Post place bets it could be between 53 and 93 trillion dollars. Wow!

Although some of the Green New Deals ideas are good, there are countless flaws in the bill. Many of these topics should be tackled on their own, not as one big bill. Because of this and the reasons outlined, I hope and you should hope the bill does not get passed, as millions of Americans, maybe even us will be affected.