Free to Prosper: Energy and Environment

View the full chapter on energy and environment here


The Green New Deal (GND), a nonbinding resolution introduced by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) in February 2019, calls for “a new national, social, industrial, and economic mobilization on a scale not seen since World War II and the New Deal era.” The GND envisions a massive expansion of federal spending and regulation to decarbonize the economy while guaranteeing health care, affordable housing, higher education, job training, family-sustaining wages, and retirement security for all. The costs required to achieve that end point are unsustainably large, vastly exceed benefits, and are not scientifically justified.

Congress should:

  • Reject the Green New Deal and similar central-planning schemes.

The GND would impose unsustainable costs on the U.S. energy sector, inflate energy prices, depress gross domestic product (GDP) growth, and impoverish American households.

A March 2019 study by American Enterprise Institute economist Benjamin Zycher estimates that “meeting 100 percent of the power demand in the United States through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources” would cost $490.5 billion per year, or $3,845 per household. Factoring in the budget cost of the social spending programs required to sustain the pro-GND coalition in Congress and the deadweight loss of the associated tax hikes, Zycher estimates the total annual cost of the GND would be nearly $9 trillion.

That estimate is conservative, Zycher explains, because the $9 trillion figure “excludes the costs of the massive shift away from fossil fuels in the transportation sector, the total cost of the GND’s high-speed rail component, the cost of retrofitting every building in the country for ‘efficiency,’ and most of the economic costs of the environmental effects of the GND.”

In this chapter:

  • Reject the Green New Deal and Similar Central Planning Schemes
  • Oppose Carbon Taxes
  • End Federal Energy Tax Credits
  • End Federal Efficiency Standards for Consumer Products
  • Prohibit Use of the Social Cost of Carbon to Justify Regulation or Influence Project Reviews under the National Environmental Policy Act
  • Reclaim Congress’ Authority to Determine Climate Policy
  • Reject the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol or Its Legislative Equivalent
  • Sunset the Renewable Fuel Standard
  • Streamline the Federal Permitting Process for Infrastructure Projects
  • Address Unaccountable Environmental Research Programs
  • Improve the Quality of Government-Funded Research
  • Eliminate U.S. Funding for the International Agency for Research on Cancer
  • Allow Free Markets in Waste Disposal from Recycling to Landfilling and Incineration
  • Deploy Rational Science-Based Policies for Medical Plant Sterilization

View the full chapter on energy and environment here.