Empower Wisconsin | Dec. 27, 2019
By M.D. Kittle
MADISON — Fresh from his Climate Change fiesta in Madrid, Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes is ready to cram a costly Badger State Green New Deal plan down the throats of Wisconsinites.
Barnes earlier this month jetted off to COP 25, the U.N. Climate Change Conference. He came back ticked off that a “stubborn bloc of countries — including the United States — successfully undermined any progress at the Paris Agreement climate negotiations in Madrid, bringing urgent and critical diplomacy to a halt.”
The United States has failed to lead on climate change, so it’s up to local and state governments to take the reins, Barnes argues in a recent op-ed.
But leadership isn’t about following, which is what Barnes and his fellow climate change alarmists really want. President Donald Trump rightly removed the U.S. from the phony agreement that would set costly new carbon-reduction standards on America, while big-time polluters like China would get a pass. Ultimately, the toothless accord would have minimal impact on global temperatures.
Barnes, citing a left-leaning consortium of climate change alarmists, insists extreme weather “racked up a price tag of at least $11 billion in damages” nationwide last year.
All the more reason, the Democrat asserts, to force Gov. Tony Evers’ dream of Wisconsin becoming carbon-free, powered 100 percent by wind and solar and other renewable energies, by 2050.
“The threat of climate change and the economic opportunity of clean energy are clear as day, and Gov. Evers and I have made it a priority to address the threat and leverage the benefits,” Barnes wrote.
Let’s explore the “economic opportunities.” While we don’t have a comprehensive breakdown of what Evers’ renewable agenda would cost in Wisconsin, we do know that nationally the Green New Deal pushed by New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez could cost anywhere from $10 trillion to tens of trillions fo dollars.
Some of the left’s top presidential candidates claim their carbon-free plans would cost considerably less, but the estimates still are in the trillions. Former Vice President Joe Biden says his climate plan would be $1.7 trillion. Massachusetts U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren estimates her proposal would be in the $2 trillion range. And Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders would like you to spend $16.3 trillion for his plan.
That’s all on top of Medicare for All, free college tuition, affordable housing, and all the other trillion-plus-dollar big government ideas.
We know that residential energy customers— would see double-digit increases in their electricity bills. Some estimates peg job losses at 1.4 million, with more than $40,000 in lost income for a typical family of four.
Wisconsin’s share of the carbon-free plan promises to be significant.
With those kinds of cost projections, support for the Green New Deal and its local knockoffs is hard to come by. According to a recent Washington Post poll, of respondents who said they had heard at least “a good amount” about the plan, nearly 6 in 10 opposed it.
“The biggest obstacle the Green New Deal faces remains its potential cost. Two-thirds of Americans (67 percent) said they would oppose the Green New Deal if it increased federal spending by trillions of dollars,” the Post poll found.
But Barnes, who, like Ocasio-Cortez, is no scientist — on climate or anything else for that matter — says, “We want to harness the power of clean energy not just to create jobs, but to create justice and equity.”
Where’s the justice and equity for the millions of American families facing job loss, significantly higher energy bills and massive new taxes to pay for a politically driven Green bad deal?