The Green New Deal – the last ecological chance for the USA

From the time Donald Trump became a president of the USA, he abolished all Obamas environmental projects and declared open support for fossil fuel economy. In two years the ecological situation has gone so devastating that it requires a resolute plan like a New Deal, presented and imposed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to combat the Great Depression. As a reflection, a Great New Deal brings strict solutions how to help the USA to tackle climate change.

Since the Trump administration took office, it has been fighting with everything what stopes the economy growth. Ecology and green solutions become one of the stoppers. Regulations that required businesses to spend time and money to meet the Obama administration’s environmental standards were swiftly reviewed and, in many cases, rolled back.

Below are 15 influential decisions made by the Trump administration concerning green development not only the country but all the region. .

1. U.S. pulls out of Paris Climate Agreement in June,2017. This decision set the tone for the Trump administration’s approach to the environment and signaled less U.S. leadership in international climate change agreements.

2. Trump Environmental Protection Agency refused to work on clean power plan. The Clean Power Plan was one of the Obama’s signature environmental policies. It required the energy sector to cut carbon emissions by 32 percent by 2030, but in October 2017 it was rolled back by Trump’s EPA. Among the reasons cited were unfair burdens on the power sector and a “war on coal.”

3. EPA loosens regulations on toxic air pollution. This regulation revolved around a complicated rule referred to as “once in, always in” or OIAI. Essentially, OIAI said that if a company polluted over the legal limit, they would have to match the lowest levels set by their industry peers and they would have to match them indefinitely. By dropping OIAI, the Trump EPA forces companies to innovate ways to decrease their emissions, but once those lower targets are met, they’re no longer required to keep using those innovations.

4. Rescinding methane-flaring rules. Under the Affordable Clean Energy rule issued in August 2018, states were given more power over regulating emissions. In states like California, that means regulations would likely be stricter, whereas states that produce fossil fuels are likely to weaken regulations. The following month, the EPA announced they would loosen rules around releasing methane flares, inspecting equipment, and repairing leaks.

All this steps lead to the frozen position of the USA in nowadays hitting world. Besides that the U.S. is not working on mitigating the global warming and holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C, but the administration backs to fossil fuel way of economy.

The alternative to Trump’s “no-ecology”

This year on February 7 Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Representative Edward Markey, D-Mass., introduced a five-page non-binding resolution to the House called the Green New Deal.

It includes seven goals:

  1. Shift 100% of national power generation to renewable sources.
  2. Build a national energy-efficient “smart” grid.
  3. Upgrade all buildings to become energy efficient.
  4. Decarbonize manufacturing and agricultural industries.
  5. Decarbonize, repair, and upgrade the nation’s infrastructure, especially transportation.
  6. Fund massive investment in the drawdown and capture of greenhouse gases.
  7. Adopting these goals would make “green” technology, industry, expertise, products, and services a major U.S. export. As a result, America could become an international leader in helping other countries transition to completely carbon-neutral economies.

The resolution also requires that any new infrastructure spending must address climate change. It wants the government to push for more zero-emissions vehicles and invest in high-speed rail and other public transit.

The Green New Deal adds some goals to address income inequality. The effects of climate change are worse on low-income people. For example, droughts raise food prices. Low-income households spend a greater percentage of their earnings on food and can least afford higher prices.

At its core is the recognition that the oil and carbon-based energy system must be changed to reduce further emissions. Technology must be introduced to absorb existing CO2 levels. And it all must happen within the next 10 years. Otherwise, the United Nations warned temperatures could exceed a tipping point that leads to hothouse earth.

Economic Impact

Businesses can create a profitable competitive advantage by adopting Green New Deal goals. States, like California and Hawaii, have already set goals to become carbon-free. Nations are seeking to meet their goals under the Paris Climate Accord. So have 20 states and 50 major cities. As the price for wind and solar energy falls, companies that source renewable energy will be ahead of those that don’t.

The Green New Deal funds new jobs, including installing solar panels, retrofitting coastal infrastructure, and manufacturing electric vehicles. It asks for new trade rules to stop “the transfer of jobs and pollution overseas.”

It would make universal health care available. It also advocates a universal basic income. This is a government guarantee that each citizen receives a minimum income. It pays enough to cover the cost of living.

The Green New Deal surprisingly does not include a carbon tax or a cap and trade program. These programs raise the cost of carbon fuels, like gasoline. That could hurt lower-income families more, especially those in rural areas who rely on an automobile. It was one reason the “yellow vest” protesters in France opposed a gas tax. They felt it was another sign that the very wealthy ignored their needs.

It also does not ban fossil fuels. Similarly, it doesn’t exclude nuclear energy and hydropower which are often opposed by environmental groups.

Unfortunately the Senate vote showed less support than estimated. The Senate voted 0-57 on taking up the resolution, with 43 Democrats voting present. The measure was expected to fall short of the 60 votes needed to overcome the procedural hurdle. The proposal has gained some support among Democrats campaigning for the 2020 presidential nomination, but Republicans have attacked the plan.“We will have to do something with it,” promised Donald Trump. He added, “ If they beat me with the Green New Deal during the future presidential campaign , I deserve to lose.”

In a word, whether with Trump or not, the US must impose an ecological plan to keep in pace of tackling climate change. The Green New Deal is a perfect instrument to reach ecological goals and many supporters lay their hopes that in near time the deal will be imposed nationally.