Commentary

Beware the Stealth 'Green New Deal'

By Ken Blackwell | July 31, 2020 | 4:37pm EDT
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) lectures at the People Climate March. (Photo by Ole Jensen/Getty Images)
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) preaches at the People Climate March. (Photo by Ole Jensen/Getty Images)

We are three months from the Presidential election, and the stakes for the future of America have never been higher.

The COVID-19 global pandemic knocked America's robust economy back on its heels. As states cautiously re-open, President Trump has been laser-focused on supporting small businesses and getting our nation to work. However, in Washington, D.C., with 51 million people out of work, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democrats, and their connected cronies have abused Small Business Administration (SBA) loans. They have sneaked numerous provisions into emergency bills under the cover of COVID-19.

The most terrifying sign of Democrats' plans is their embracing the previously dismissed "Green New Deal," which was a radical environmental proposal from self-described "democratic socialist" Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA). Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC), the third-ranking House Democrat, was too honest by admitting his party wants to use billions in COVD-19 rescue funds to "restructure things to fit our vision."

Democrats are showing their cards of enacting this left-wing dream legislation in pieces through the tax code. It is time to sound the alarm, and conservatives must carefully watch the latest developments.

Democrats are focused on tax-bills because they only take a simple 51-majority vote in the Senate, utilizing "budget reconciliation" rules. First, this was tried with the so-called "Moving Forward Act" a $1.5 trillion spending bill full of radical environmentalist plans.  Also, there were additional disturbing provisions in the highway reauthorization pork-barrel bill, including green-tax credits, which extends and expands credits for wealthy homeowners with solar panels, storage devices, energy-efficient windows, and geothermal converters until 2025.

Once presented as "temporary" tax incentives, it is clear Democrats never want these green handouts to affluent taxpayers and highly-profitable renewable energy companies to end.

The truth is, America does not need new environmental regulation. We, along with other industrialized nations, can lower carbon emissions and still generate massive growth. U.S. carbon emissions decreased by 12 percent from 2005 to 2017 and major oil companies report their methane emissions have declined by 40 percent or more while oil production is steadily increasing. America needs free-market innovation, not manipulative tax code changes and job-killing policies, especially during a pandemic! 

As Ryan Ellis of the Center for a Free Economy correctly observes at The Washington Examiner, as COVID-19-related legislation continues to be rushed through Congress this year, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Trump must stop all sneaky "Green New Deal" tax provisions.

We are not out of this pandemic, but the American people can overcome any obstacle. Using disaster and death to enact an extreme agenda must stop. Let's make real progress on ending the pandemic and get Americans back to work.

Ken Blackwell is an advisor to the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C. He serves on the boards of the Club For Growth and the National Taxpayers Union.

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