It seems the embarrassing joke that was the Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Green New Deal proposal has not dissuaded politicians from coming up with alternative plans that make little sense. Instead of hiding from further notification, they are proudly promoting alternatives that are just as dubious.
In the House of Representatives they have drawn up the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (EICDA) just the latest ruse to pull funding out of the private sector and place it in the hands of government. As expected, the plan is full of high-minded promises not rooted in anything approaching empirical proof.
In promising to deliver a healthy, stable and prosperous America, the EICDA touts it will “drive down carbon pollution,” as well as “bring climate change under control.” This one piece of legislation promises to do all of that, and we should just nod and accept this as certain. However, there are problems with the promises right out of the gate, with the simple claim of this being bi-partisan.
“Republicans and Democrats are both on board, cosponsoring this bill together,” touts the website for the Act. However, among the 15 cosponsors of this bill -- including Florida stalwarts Ted Deutch, Charlie Crist, Alcee Hastings, and Francis Rooney -- the number of GOP members who signed on are ... one. One name constitutes “Republicans,” and “bi-partisan” -- Florida's Rooney.
With that subtle subterfuge I’m certain all the other claims will be completely above board. According to TheInvadingSea.com (a consortium of Florida news outlets backing legislation to combat sea level rise), this legislation promises to lower carbon emissions by 40 percent in just 12 years, and by a monstrous 90 percent by 2050. How? Well, beyond collecting money, there are very few specifics.
To start, logically they will place a “fee” on all oil, gas and coal. Not a tax, mind -- it is a fee. At the same time, "it will make clean energy cheaper and more attractive than dirty, polluting energy.” Just don't ask how it will be made cheaper. We have to take it on faith they will accomplish this. But they do promise that collecting money out of the free market will somehow lead businesses to embark on expensive innovation and improvements
When it comes to the money side, they promise things are revenue-neutral, AND promise that we will all get money back. How could anyone object? “Most American households will end up with more money in their pockets to spend as they see fit, which helps low- and middle-income Americans.”
We will need that help, because this “fee” businesses are charged will be recovered in raising prices. This is going to drive up energy and food prices (due to transportation costs spiking), so the very best we could hope for is to break even.
Laughably, there will also be fees placed on goods coming from countries to alleviate the fees being placed on American businesses. “To protect U.S. manufacturers and jobs, goods imported from countries that do not have an equivalent carbon price will pay a border carbon adjustment.” This is the plan from the same politicians who have been complaining about President Trump’s tariffs. We suppose that calling their tariff a carbon adjustment excise fee will not lead to other countries retaliating with their own import charges.
The biggest lack of explanation comes from this question: If this EICDA delivers on everything it promises, how can they assure it will bring climate change “under control” when other nations are not bidden to follow this plan? China has been refusing to join in any international climate treaties, all while expanding its industries and raising its carbon output annually.
But the most uncomfortable detail is one that never sees its way into these new environmental proposals. Without being forced into any confiscatory legislation such as this, America has been reducing its carbon output since 2005. Put another way, we have been already achieving these goals, and we are ostensibly saving the planet. It almost appears as if we don't need more politicians confiscating more money from the marketplace.
Brad Slager, a Fort Lauderdale freelance writer, wrote this story exclusively for Sunshine State News. He writes on politics and the entertainment industry and his stories appear in such publications as RedState and The Federalist