UPDATED 6:24 AM PT — Wednesday, March 20, 2019
The Green New Deal is offering, among other things, a plan to convert the U.S. to 100-percent clean energy by 2030. However, mounting research suggests the proposed plan would both be costly and difficult to apply due to massive infrastructure changes that would be essential for it to work.
The Democrat-proposed bill has faced a host of criticism from both politicians and economists in regards to the pricing and implementation of the bill.
Some studies, such as one from the non-profit American Action Forum, has suggested the proposed bill would cost between 51 to 93 trillion dollars in taxpayer money over the next decade.
Another major issue plaguing the potentially costly bill is the proposal of the U.S. switching to 100-percent clean energy by 2030. Experts warn without proper updates to the country’s transmission lines it would essentially be impossible to transport an adequate amount of wind and solar energy from energy farms, which would be in mostly rural areas. This means cities would be left with insufficient energy unless they implement large-scale infrastructure overhauls.
However, a new report released this month by economists from The Brattle Group found 30 to 90 billion dollars would have to be spent on transmission lines by 2030 to serve the deal’s plans for clean energy. This translates a 20 to 50 percent increase in average annual transmission spending compared to the past decade.
Another problem is how the nationwide infrastructure overhaul would be implemented. Approving transmission lines is a decade-long process between proposals and approval from local and state governments. In fact, states have most of the power in approving transmission lines, not the federal government. This means if state governments decide they do not wish to upgrade their power lines, the federal government would have little to no ways of combating their decision.
So, as a growing number of Democrats continue to support the bill, questions continue to arise surrounding its practicality.