Garrett Summers | United States
On March 26, the Senate voted 0-57 on the Green New Deal. This is a Senate version of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s House Green New Deal. The Green New Deal was introduced to the Senate by Senator Markey (Massachusetts- D). Senate leader Mitch McConnell wanted the citizens to know where their Senators stood on the Green New Deal. Given such, he referred it to the floor for a vote.
Fearing that a rift between moderate and more radical Democrats, Democrats chose to vote “present” on the bill. This is interesting because a study highly touted by the Democrats claims that the world has 12 years to limit climate change or the world may face irreversible consequences. If Senate Democrats truly held this belief, why would they not vote for this bill? Many Democrats fear that support of the Green New Deal could alienate their moderate base and split the party. This is all the more dangerous, especially when approaching an election year.
Representative Ocasio-Cortez’s remarks
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took the House floor to respond to some of the criticism of the Green New Deal. Under the Green New Deal, every building in the United States would be retrofitted to be more energy efficient. According to Ocasio-Cortez, this would pose a burden on the lower class. The argument is that the lower class would not have the funds to retrofit their own homes. They also would not have the funds to give up in extra taxes to fund this campaign. Ocasio-Cortez points toward children in the Bronx and Flint not receiving the clean air or water, as a reason for the bill’s necessity.
Both issues are municipal issues and should be handled at that level. It is the responsibility of each respective city to take care of their water supplies and air quality. Democrats control both cities, Flint and New York. It would seem more productive for the Democrat Congresswoman to work with the municipal officials to pass local legislation. Instead, she uses these situations as a political club to help push the Green New Deal and her agenda. Representative Ocasio-Cortez continues to say that this issue should not be partisan. But again, she would be better telling this to her own party members. Instead of hiding their stances on the issue for political strategy, vote for the bill. Playing along these lines does not foster discussion and compromise. We can find a solution to climate change, but it must be done together, by the people.
Senator Mike Lee Makes Light of the Green New Deal
Senator Mike Lee (R-Utah) took to the floor of the Senate to discuss the consequences, should the Green New Deal be passed. The Senator continues to refer to fictional tauntauns (of the Star Wars universe), a meme of President Reagan, and the family unit. The Senator refers to tauntauns as a possible alternative vehicle for Alaskans and says the meme of President Reagan had as much to do with fighting Communism as the Green New Deal has to do with fighting climate change. Senator Lee clearly made these remarks in jest and offer very little to the discussion of the bill.
The Senator would have been better off stating his stances clearly (i.e. “This bill would leave Alaskans with minimal options for traversing the harsh and vast state”). Logical and fact-based arguments will win over more supporters than hyperbolic and comedic arguments because the Green New Deal offers few factual reasons for implementing the resolution and will fall flat in the face of a well-prepared argument.
Senator Lee goes on to give his ideas to combat climate change. The Senator claims that children, the future, will combat climate change. Having children will increase the labor pool and allows for more production and innovation in the market, the Senator argues. The future will provide the solution to climate change, so having children and supporting them to become great people is what we can do now. Instead of having the federal government take control of the economy and tax the people into submission, allow the free market to work and the future generations to innovate and produce new products freely.
The Free Market Solution
The market can much more effectively do what the Green New Deal aspires to. There is no need for the government to dictate when and where to spend resources in order to combat climate change.
The government has always been less efficient than the free market. If a product or a campaign fails in the free market, it fails, so businesses and entrepreneurs will take care to provide the best products and services. In a case where there is a demand for clean energy and reduced emissions, the free market will provide. If the government’s products or services fail, they will receive more tax funding next year regardless. The world will combat climate change through the free market, not through government intervention or the Green New Deal.
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