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Far-left Democrats and the party’s presidential candidates have “climate change plans” with price tags hovering around $16 trillion.
Why so much? Well, Sen. Elizabeth Warren says we face an “existential threat to all life on this planet.” Sen. Bernie Sanders says, “we have less than 11 years left to transform our energy system away from fossil fuels.” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez told a conference in Europe it’s “not ethical to have children” because of climate change.
They deliver their lines like actors in a Hollywood action movie; only they can save the world. It’s time we toned down the hype.
Let’s look at the facts:
Far-left Democrats don’t just propose eliminating the oil and gas industry. Their demands include a massive reorganization of our economy with Washington politicians in charge. Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal calls for universal health care and a socialist-style guaranteed job program.
Yet, Congress already has spent billions of tax dollars to make us greener – with little success. President Barack Obama’s 2009 fiscal stimulus plan included $14 billion in renewable energy loans. The House Oversight Committee’s investigation of that program found “dysfunction, negligence and mismanagement,” and no tangible progress toward cleaner energy infrastructure.
In 2011, more than $530 million in taxpayer-backed loans went to a tech startup Vice President Joe Biden called “the next big thing in green energy.” Solyndra never produced a watt of green energy before going bankrupt and leaving U.S. taxpayers with the bill.
Today, our environment and energy industry are cleaner than ever. We’ve made great progress. Between 1990 and 2017, according to the EPA, air pollutants fell dramatically, 80% less lead, 77% less carbon monoxide, 88% less sulfur dioxide.
Here in New Mexico, the oil-and-gas-rich Permian Basin is not just helping us build a cleaner environment, it’s a leading contributor to America’s energy independence – making us a more secure nation. Over 70% of our nation’s energy comes from domestic sources and New Mexico is a key part of that accomplishment.
New Mexico’s energy industry is our No. 1 tax revenue-producing industry, providing sorely needed resources for our state’s government, infrastructure, schools and more.
Which is why our state’s version of the Green New Deal is total insanity. The Energy Transition Act Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham pushed through in March requires New Mexico to be powered by 100% carbon-free energy by 2045.
This threatens the jobs of thousands of energy workers in our state and will cause our utility rates to skyrocket. Is the carbon footprint of New Mexico, a poor, rural state, so great that we need this drastic change?
New Mexico is consistently ranked among the states with the highest poverty rates in the nation. Forcing New Mexico’s poorest families to pay significantly higher rates to heat and light their homes is irresponsible.
If we were to turn off all sources of non-renewable energy today, renewables could power 30% of our energy needs. In 10 years, we will be lucky if that rises to 50%. Are New Mexicans ready for that drastic of a change?
If Democrats really thought the planet was in danger, would they still be travelling on airplanes or riding in gasoline powered cars? No. So, let’s get real.
Our economic future should not be linked to further empowering Washington bureaucrats. We should keep our energy independence, while exploring green energy alternatives.
We should not let our politicians impose Washington’s socialist Democrats’ values on us. We should stand up and speak out against those policies that would devastate the poorest among us. At the same time, we should demand government continue to find new ways to protect our environment.
The U.S. economy is the strongest it has been in decades. Now is a time to move forward to make our energy industry better and greener. It is not a time to adopt socialist policies that ignore the progress we’ve made toward a cleaner, more efficient environment for everyone.
Elisa Martinez is the head of the NM Alliance for Life.