The ‘Mean New Deal’ Gutting Middle Class America

Gas prices hit the highest levels of the year last week. Nationally, a gallon of gas is averaging almost $4.00 while in California, it has eclipsed $6.00 for Premium. The price of diesel is also rising along with jet fuel.

The general reasons provided for the price surge are crude oil production cuts by Saudi Arabia, the War in Ukraine and, of course, the weather. Essentially, we have a high demand and low supply dynamic. But why?

It’s no secret that Joe Biden has declared war on oil and gas. The White House just canceled drilling leases on hundreds of thousands of acres in Alaska, and has actively engaged in shutting down oil refineries and delaying permits for pipelines.

While this may please his green activist base, rising gas prices fuel inflation and drain purchasing power from the economy. Soaring energy costs, in general, have a broad impact on American industry, commerce, supply chains and disproportionately impact American families.

Back in 2019, the so-called ‘Green New Deal’ was introduced to address the climate crisis. It stipulated that U.S. greenhouse gas emissions be brought to net zero and that 100% of America’s power be derived through only clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy by the year 2030. And much like FDR’s New Deal, it also calls for job guarantees for all Americans.

While the bill failed to pass the Senate in 2019, it was re-introduced in April of this year — and many claim its directives are alive and well as billions of federal dollars have been invested in clean energy. Sweeping climate measures across the country are mandating a shift away from fossil fuels and scores of coal, oil and gas employees have been put out to ‘green pastures’ — as collateral damage in the frantic push to switch to renewables now.

Some think tanks put the cost of implementing the “deal” at almost $100 trillion dollars. Others claim it will crush an already fragile U.S. economy and even the man who coined the term ‘Green New Deal’ back in 2007, Thomas Friedman, realized that it was going to be expensive, disruptive, and result in much, much higher energy and fuel prices.

Higher fuel costs are economically pervasive — and not only impact workers, commuters, and businesses but also the transportation of goods like food, clothing, and household products. This drives up prices in an environment where the Fed has already raised interest rates at the fastest pace in history, in an effort, to keep inflation down.

Back in the 1970’s, 1980’s and 1990’s, it was soaring inflation fueled by rising energy prices that pushed the country into a recession.

But despite the threat to the economy, the administration is not retreating from its climate mandates. While “The Green New Deal” failed to win Congressional approval, President Biden is using executive authority to now create an American Climate Corps, a program that very much echoes the New Deal and employs some 20,000 young people to combat climate change. The program was initially included in the Inflation Reduction Act at a cost of $30 billion dollars but was subsequently dropped to gain passage. The administration has declined to share the current cost of the program or the latest source of funding.

According to a June 2023 Pew Research survey, most Americans are in favor of investing in new energy sources, but less than a third support abandoning traditional fossil fuels altogether and most don’t believe we’re ready to switch to fully green sources right now.

“Only 31% of Americans currently support phasing out the use of fossil fuel energy sources altogether. Another 32% say the U.S. should eventually stop using fossil fuels, but don’t believe the country is ready now. And 35% think the U.S. should never stop using fossil fuels to meet its energy needs.”

According to the International Energy Agency, fossil fuels still account for more than 80 percent of global energy production.

Rising gas prices disproportionately impact middle- and lower-income Americans. It is an added burden to those already struggling to put food on the table and gas in their cars. It is a financial drain for the many who are in retirement or live on fixed income and can’t afford a new electric vehicle.

According to the Wilson Center, which provides nonpartisan insights on global affairs, the transition to renewable energy presents extreme infrastructure challenges as well as energy generation, transmission, and storage complexities. None of these issues have not been solved or resolved.

The reality is, that a full transition to green energy to achieve the climate utopia of The Green New Deal could take decades.

This makes forced electrification in the current economy seem at the very least tone deaf and at the very worst callous when so many are struggling. In the meantime, the global economy is on the hook for the billions earmarked for clean energy as higher oil prices cripple growth and fuel inflation … pushing up the cost of farming, manufacturing and production and the price of food, energy, and transportation — impacting everything from weekly groceries to an Uber ride.

Alas, the administration continues to hand out ‘green’ electric fiddles fully oblivious to what most Americans want or need — while the economy burns.

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