Grassley on the Green New Deal
by U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa
Senate Committee on Finance
On the Green New
Tuesday, March 26,
appreciate the majority leader bringing the Green New Deal to a vote this week
so every senator had an opportunity to go on record.
of my Democratic colleagues may argue that a vote against the Green New Deal
demonstrates an unwillingness to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and
tackle serious environmental issues of the day.
nothing could be further from the truth.
to popular belief, the United States is not the bad actor on the world stage.
U.S. has reduced our carbon emissions by 758 million metric tons per year since
is the largest decline of any country in the world.
China and India’s carbon emissions have grown.
to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the United States consumption of
biofuels and other renewable energy has more than doubled from 2000 to 2017.
U.S. will only continue to increase renewable energy consumption through 2050
as we see more investments in wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, and other
be clear- A no vote on the Green New Deal is a vote against a government
takeover of our economy that would stifle economic growth, bankrupt the nation,
and endanger the prosperity of all Americans.
no vote is a vote in favor of continuing an open and free economy that has made
America the richest country in the world.
fact is the Green New Deal is wholly unrealistic in its goal of obtaining net
zero carbon emissions within 10 years.
are not going to be successful at reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and
lowering our carbon emissions through virtue signaling.
that is all the Green New Deal boils down to – virtue signaling. It is all
lofty goals and aspirations with no concrete plan or concern as to feasibility.
easy to be for a vaguely worded, nonbinding resolution calling on the Federal
Government to accomplish certain goals.
guess what? That’s us!
is the part of the Federal Government with the responsibility under the
Constitution to write the laws.
members of Congress have concrete ideas about what the Federal Government
should be doing, they should introduce real legislation detailing who should do
what to accomplish their goals.
of a “green dream,” as Speaker Pelosi called it, we need to focus on common
sense bipartisan approaches that have an actual shot of making a difference.
taxes is an effective way to encourage positive, environmentally conscious ways
to produce electricity and fuel.
is what I have sought to do as a leader on renewable and alternative energy
production for decades. -I was the original author of the production tax credit
for wind energy in 1992.
my leadership on the Senate Finance Committee during the 2000s, I oversaw the
establishment, enhancement, and renewal of numerous tax incentives that promote
clean energy from sources such as wind and solar, to renewable fuels like
biodiesel, to energy efficient buildings, homes and appliances.
the aspirational goals of the Green New Deal, these are real, proven,
bipartisan actions I helped shepherd into law to make the United States more
energy independent and improve our environment.
energy is a smart investment and the fastest-growing source for electricity
generation in the United States.
to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, utility-scale solar power is
expected to increase by 10 percent in 2019 alone, while wind power is expected
to surpass hydropower for the first time.
prices continue to fall, the economic benefits from these clean energy
investments will only increase.
Iowa leads the nation for its share in renewable energy.
wind generates nearly 37 percent of the state’s electricity from wind and the
state’s largest utility is set to generate 100 percent of its electricity
within a couple years.
ranks first in the nation in the production of ethanol and biodiesel.
alone accounted for over 26 percent of the entire U.S. ethanol production and
over 17 percent of the U.S. biodiesel production.
solar industry in Iowa continues to mature and ranks 17th nationally.
bottom line is renewable energy helps diversify Iowa’s economy, creates jobs in
rural America, and strengthens U.S. energy independence.
of trying to build on these and other proven policies, the authors of the Green
New Deal are more concerned with trying to correct all the ills they see in the
U.S. economic system, and even our broader society.
a list of the grievances they want to attack in the name of an environmentally
sustainable economy: life expectancy, wage stagnation, economic mobility,
income inequality, systemic injustices, the oppression of indigenous people,
the unhoused, and the list goes on and on.
get me wrong. These are important issues that deserve our attention as a
it’s simply not realistic to believe they can all be solved through a plan that
targets environmental sustainability.
of course, since no crisis should be allowed to go to waste, every aspect of
the progressive agenda must be implemented to fend off the threat of climate
to an analysis by the American Action Forum, the portion of the so-called Green
New Deal plan focused on eliminating carbon emissions, by itself, would cost
between $8.3 and $12.3 trillion.
course, that’s assuming it is followed up with actual legislation that attempts
to implement the goals it lays out.
this only accounts for a fraction of the Green New Deal’s cost.
portion about the progressive economic agenda that includes enacting universal
health care, free college tuition, a federal jobs guarantee program, and much
more is estimated to cost between $43 and $81 trillion.
puts the total cost of the Green New Deal at between $51 and $93 trillion over
the first ten years.
trillion, can you imagine?
is more money than the United States Government has spent in its entire
would we even go about paying for this?
Democrats have floated ideas or introduced bills to tax the wealthy that I
assume may be offered up as possibilities.
this year, the House author of the Green New Deal suggested imposing tax rates
of 70 percent or more on earnings over $10 million.
in the Senate, Senator Warren has proposed an annual wealth tax of 2 percent on
assets over $50 million and 3 percent on assets over $1 billion.
to be out done, Senator Sanders has introduced legislation to supercharge the
death tax with rates as high as 77 percent on estates exceeding $1 billion.
recently, Representative DeFazio reintroduced his proposal to tax securities
if we assume these proposals would not have detrimental economic or behavioral
effects – which we know they would – they would not come anywhere close to
covering the price tag of the Green New Deal.
Washington Post reported that a 70-percent tax rate on incomes over $10 million
could theoretically raise $720 billion over 10 years.
Warren’s own estimates suggest her annual wealth-tax proposal could raise as
much as $2.75 trillion in a decade.
to Senator Sanders, his death-tax proposal would raise $315 billion over a
decade, and DeFazio’s transaction tax is estimated to bring in $777 billion.
even under the rosiest assumptions, their proposals combined would only cover
between 5 and 10 percent of the Green New Deal’s cost.
fact is there are not enough millionaires and billionaires in the United States
to cover the price tag.
reminds me of former U.K. Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s wise observation:
“The trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s
of the Green New Deal’s backers appear to realize this and have suggested that
offsetting its cost is unnecessary.
to them, it can be paid for simply by printing more money.
solution is the same as what has been tried by every bankrupt third-world
country around the world. Just crank up the printing presses.
poster child for this fantasy in the world today is Venezuela--a country whose
economic vitality in the 1970s has been driven into the ground by socialist
policies financed in large measure by churning out currency, leading to
multi-million percent inflation rates.
hope now that Senators have had an opportunity to go on record in support or
opposition to the resolution, the nonsense that is the Green New Deal will be
put to rest.
we can now all rally around sensible, proven policies to secure our energy
independence and improve the environment.
clean energy is key to moving the U.S. forward.
good starting point would be to enact the tax extenders legislation I
introduced last month with Ranking Member Wyden.
legislation would extend nearly a dozen separate practical and proven
incentives for renewable energy and energy efficiency.
in alternative forms of clean energy is good the environment, good for national
security and energy independence, good for job creation and economic
development, and good for taxpayers.