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The fanciful goals of Green New Deal are nowhere in sight (Article)

Mark Mathis

It’s hard to believe, but it seems I wasn’t cynical enough. In 2019 I began releasing short, animated videos on the “Green New Deal” for the Clear Energy Alliance YouTube channel.

The anti-fossil fuel activists had found a fresh new face to sell the absurd fantasy that oil, natural gas, and coal were “yesterday’s energy.” The Green New Dealers were telling us we could transition our way to nirvana under the power of wind and solar.

They found an attractive spokesperson for their agenda in newly minted New York Congresswoman Sandy Cortez, or “AOC.” GND was going to be glorious, she assured us. Except… anyone with basic technical knowledge knew it would be a disaster.

Consequences of the Green New Deal

When I released that first GND video in February of 2019, I didn’t think politicians in the United States would willingly commit energy and economic suicide.

green new deal
green new deal - the photo from the New York Times

Boy, was I wrong! We released a ten-part series explaining why the Green New Deal was such a raw deal. But policymakers in the US government and in individual states would not be deterred in implementing GND priorities. Of course, the policies inside the Green New Deal marketing package weren’t just for Americans.

The low-carbon emission agenda was already being implemented in Europe, Australia, and other nations. U.S. GNDers were simply trying to catch up.

Well, here we are. Actually… here we aren’t. The fanciful goals of GND are nowhere in sight, and yet the bad consequences of the anti-fossil fuel movement are so crippling that many European nations are attempting to reverse course simply as a matter of survival. I’ll get to the U.S. momentarily, but first let’s look at the European situation.

Europe's forced return to fossil fuels

Austria just announced that it would be restarting the Mellach coal plant it shut down two years ago. When the shutdown took place, Austrian leaders proudly proclaimed that the nation was now coal free. Oops!

The U.K., Germany, Italy, France, and the Netherlands have already conceded they will restart mothballed coal plants and/or extend the life of coal generation facilities still operating. Germany is moving as fast as it can to increase natural gas storage ahead of next winter. Financing is reported to be 15 billion Euros.

Electricity bills are already soaring across Europe and will continue to climb. Oil and gas consultant Wood Mackenzie is warning that Europe could run out of gas next January if Russia cuts off its supply.

European leaders now understand this is a full-on emergency. They created the energy disaster, but they aren’t taking the blame. They blame Putin.

Yes, Putin’s invasion of Ukraine is the catalyst for this crisis, but Europeans wouldn’t be in this mess if they had developed their own oil and natural gas resources and infrastructure while simultaneously building supply lines with the U.S. and other nations.

Instead, European leaders were squandering enormous amounts of cash on the GND utopia of wind turbines and solar panels.

The reality of energy in U.S

Politicians in the United States can see what’s happening in Europe as well as their own nation, but so far, they are refusing to acknowledge energy reality.

green new deal
Abstract image of North America's city lights with bokeh.

Gasoline and diesel prices in the United States are double what they were when the Biden administration took office. There may soon be a diesel shortage.

Biden has made inconsequential moves such as releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (which is not how the SPR was intended to be used), but he has refused to do the things he could do immediately to ease pressure on the system.

He could suspend the Jones Act, which would greatly improving shipping efficiency. Biden could suspend (or just end) the Renewable Fuel Standard, which is unnecessarily crushing independent refiners while driving up the cost of gasoline.

He could streamline permitting for oil and natural gas leasing. Most of all he could reverse course and let oil companies are corporate activists know that he has seen the light and will no longer support Environmental Social Governance goals.

ESG is choking off investment in the oil/gas sector. Unfortunately, he has not signaled that he will do any of these things to help the American economy.

The outlook for U.S. electricity is just as bad, if not worse. Electricity bills are climbing fast, and most of America’s grids have put customers on notice that rolling blackouts are a distinct possibility in the coming weeks. Why?

Far too many unreliable wind turbines and solar panels and not enough thermal power generation. The U.S. continues to prematurely shut down nuclear power plants. The next big one up for decommissioning is California’s Diablo Canyon.

More GND insanity continues apace. Texas, with its increasingly unreliable grid, is going to spend $500 billion on 237 EV charging stations.

There seems to be no stopping America from following Europe’s disastrous example. AOC and company still rant about the need to decarbonize for the sake of the planet, no matter the cost.

The Green Raw Deal will continue until an unavoidable crisis forces policymakers to acknowledge energy reality. And what about consumers? We’re just collateral damage. And I fear I’m still not cynical enough.

*Mark Mathis, Speaker, documentary filmmaker, video producer, and author in energy.


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