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The Ocasio-Cortez 'Green New Deal' Is Even Shoddier and More Absurd Than You Thought

Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY., arrives for orientation for new members of Congress.

On Thursday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) unveiled her much-vaunted "Geen New Deal," and it's even worse than you expected. Among other absurd things, it calls for abolishing cows, nuclear energy, and airplanes, "upgrading all existing buildings in the United States," guaranteeing "high-quality health care" for all Americans, and spreading the Green New Deal to other countries. Oh, and it isn't even technically a bill.

Ocasio-Cortez leaked a copy of the "Green New Deal" to National Public Radio (NPR), and her slipshod work in progress is a resolution. Rather than making law, the resolution states the "sense of the House of Representatives."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) slammed the proposal Wednesday, saying, "The green dream or whatever they call it, nobody knows what it is, but they're for it right?"

The resolution does not lay out specific plans but calls on Congress to "create a Green New Deal," which will consist of a "10-year national mobilization" yet to be determined.

Ocasio-Cortez's plan presents goals without any inkling as to how one law — or even a series of laws — could achieve anything so absurdly ambitious.

Among other things, the "Green New Deal" calls for concrete plans to "achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions through a fair and just transition for all communities and workers."

The Green New Deal aims to create a legislative utopian panacea to solve climate change, racial disparities, job scarcity, and more. The resolution demands a plan "to secure for all people of the United States for generations to come clean air and water, climate and community resiliency, healthy food, access to nature, and a sustainable environment."

The summary document presents more "rights" to be guaranteed: "a job with a family-sustaining wage, family and medical leave, vacations, and retirement security"; "high-quality education"; "safe, affordable, adequate housing"; and "economic security for all who are unable or unwilling to work." So a guaranteed job, and guaranteed economic security for those who don't want a job? How does that work?

Legislation must "promote justice and equity by stopping current, preventing future, and repairing historic oppression of indigenous communities, communities of color, migrant communities, deindustrialized communities, depopulated rural communities, the poor, low-income workers, women, the elderly, the unhoused, people with disabilities, and youth (referred to in this resolution as 'frontline and vulnerable communities')."

Then come the ridiculous half-conceived proposals. The resolution calls for "meeting 100 percent of the power demand in the United States through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources." It demands a bill "guaranteeing universal access to clean water." How would renewable power and "universal access" be defined? Do the toxic byproducts of solar energy count as "clean"? A summary document suggests nuclear energy doesn't count. How would government ensure that every single person can drink clean water? What counts as "clean"?

It gets worse, however. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's resolution calls for "upgrading all existing buildings in the United States and building new buildings to achieve maximal energy efficiency, water efficiency, safety, affordability, comfort, and durability, including through electrification."

"Upgrading all existing buildings in the United States" is a laughably absurd proposal. It involves the federal government in every single apartment, house, office building, and shantytown from sea to shining sea, launching a project that would take far more than ten years.

Yet the Green New Deal also calls for "overhauling transportation systems in the United States to eliminate pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector as much as is technologically feasible, including through investment in zero-emission vehicle infrastructure and manufacturing; clean, affordable, and accessible public transportation; and high-speed rail."

The resolution's summary document supports expanding rail "at a scale where air travel stops becoming necessary." Yes, it seems Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez thinks airplanes may become a thing of the past.

Her resolution also calls for "removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and reducing pollution, including by restoring natural ecosystems through proven low-tech solutions that increase soil carbon storage, such as preservation and afforestation."

The Green New Deal would abolish nuclear energy, cows, fossil fuels, airplanes, and more. Remember when Bernie Sanders didn't like having multiple choices of deodorant? This is far worse.

Ocasio-Cortez is so sure her plan will work, the resolution even calls for exporting the Green New Deal to other countries. The resolution calls for "promoting the international exchange of technology, expertise, products, funding, and services, with the aim of making the United States the international leader on climate action, and to help other countries achieve a Green New Deal" (emphasis added).

Finally, the resolution restates its big government goals that would require a command-and-control economy. Any Green New Deal must shoot for "providing all the people of the United States with high-quality health care; affordable, safe, and adequate housing; economic security; and access to clean water, clean air, healthy and affordable food, and nature."

Last month, I analyzed the costs of the Green New Deal and came to the conclusion that the sticker price would be about $49.109 trillion in the first ten years — 8,000 times the cost of Trump's border wall proposal. With this resolution, I'm starting to think that was a wild underestimate.

Ocasio-Cortez's resolution claims that climate change will cost the U.S. economy $500 trillion in output by 2100. In order to stave off this cost, she proposes an absurd draconian command-and-control economy that is literally impossible to achieve. This isn't just a Soviet-style 5-year plan, it's a "back to the stone age" proposal.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.