Many members of Congress have been talking about the Green New Deal throughout most of this year. Green Party candidates originally proposed this idea more than a decade ago. Now many Democratic presidential candidates and members of Congress have been proposing it as a way to address climate change.
What would it cost? That is a question that the Competitive Enterprise Institute asked and set out to answer. They wanted to get a reasonable estimate about “What the Green New Deal Could Cost a Typical Household.” As I started to discuss it on radio the other day, one of the roundtable guests summarized it by simply saying it would cost more than the annual income for a typical American family.
The authors concluded that in four of the five states they analyzed (Florida, New Hampshire, New Mexico, and Pennsylvania), the Green New Deal would cost a typical household more than $70,000 in the first year of implementation. The cost for households in Alaska would be much higher: more than $100,000 in the first year.
The reason for the high cost is simple. The goal would be to completely de-carbonize the American economy. That means that anything that contains carbon (oil, gas, coal, even wood) that is burned emits carbon. Eliminating all of these sources of energy would be expensive and complex.
It is also worth mentioning that the Green New Deal is about much more than just energy production. There are proposals in it that would supposedly guarantee “a job with a family-sustaining wage, adequate family and medical leave, paid vacations, and retirement security.” And that is just a small summary of a few items on the utopian wishlist.
Thanks to this recent analysis, we now know the answer to the question: What will it cost? The answer is “more than a typical household could afford.”