Americans Need a Real Deal, Not a Green New Deal

InsideSources | Randall Luthi | August 2, 2019

As president of the National Ocean Industries Association, it has been my privilege to represent the women and men of the offshore energy industry for nearly a decade. As I leave NOIA, these hardworking and dedicated women and men inspire me and I am confident that any one of them would tell you that America’s energy outlook remains bright. They would also tell you that an all-inclusive energy policy, a true alternative to the Green New Deal, holds the key to unlocking safe and sustainable energy development.

The Green New Deal has seemingly been ever-present during the presidential primary coverage. If you are a Democratic candidate, you will likely endure public shaming until you ally yourself to the Green New Deal.  Most recently, former vice president Joe Biden joined senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders in embracing the Green New Deal, albeit his own version of the deal.

While there are slight differences in the various Green New Deal versions, they all share crippling costs for Americans. Green New Deal “originalist” Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has said a true Green New Deal would cost $10 trillion.  Beyond the immediate fiscal costs of the Green New Deal, each pledge has also called for the elimination of oil and natural gas leasing on federal lands and waters — a devastating outlook for our nation. Today, 18 of the 22 Democratic candidates support banning new oil and natural gas leasing on federal lands or waters.

Millions of Americans risk being left in the dark, figuratively and literally, under a progressive energy regime. Look at two of the more progressive states: California and Massachusetts. California has pushed to keep its abundant offshore oil and gas resources off-limits, while anti-pipeline attitudes have limited Massachusetts’ access to Marcellus shale production. Today, surging Saudi Arabian oil imports in California and imports of Russian LNG in Massachusetts illustrate where progressive energy policies lead.

Outside of the Green New Deal, other progressive policies are not much better. A discussion draft of new legislation establishes criminal and civil penalties and compensatory mitigation for incidental take under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.  Incidental take means injury or death to a migratory bird, regardless of whether there was intent. The most frequent violators are neighborhood cats, which kill 2.5 billion birds per year. The bill would needlessly complicate and possibly render cost prohibitive all types of critical projects, including offshore wind projects.

The same politicians who are advocating for a “renewables only” energy strategy are willing to risk the ascendant U.S. offshore wind industry and the 18 GW of electricity it could produce by 2030.

Read the full op-ed here.