Because there has not been a comprehensive approach to dealing with climate change and its long-term ramifications for the environment, activists recently proposed what they dubbed as the Green New Deal as solution for our uphill battle with increased emissions.
As Vox describes the GND, “It refers, in the loosest sense, to a massive program of investments in clean-energy jobs and infrastructure, meant to transform not just the energy sector, but the entire economy.”
With Texas leading the way in wind energy and continually pushing for more renewables, the Lonestar State seems to be the perfect litmus test for the viability of the GND. Naturally, there are political polarizations and opinions that measure just how realistic a Green New Deal is.
Green New Deal Naysayers
As Jason Isaac of The Cleburne Times Review says though, the GND could mean an extra $12,000 added to the average Texan’s electricity bill. He says that “getting renewables from 8% to 100% of our electric generation nationwide isn’t a problem of politics, but of scale and physics.” Simply put, Isaac says that America does not have enough land (realistically) to accommodate the 5 million acres of wind turbines, solar panels, and battery storage that it would take to get the U.S. 100% renewable. Additionally, a higher percentage of electric vehicle owners will also drive electricity demand up, meaning prices will rise as well.
Mark Whittington of the Washington Examiner believes that those who campaign for the widely unrealistic Green New Deal will lose their credibility in the political race. He suggests avoiding the full-scale liquidation of the fossil fuel industry and instead backing net-zero plants like the one in La Porte, Texas.
Green New Deal ‘Yay’sayers
There are more optimistic champions of the GND though. Amal Ahmed of the Texas Observer thinks that the GND can flourish in Texas because of the state’s recent success and large scale adoption of renewables.
Ahmed reminds readers that Texas originally had the modest (but at the time ambitious) goal of producing 10,000 megawatts of energy that would make it to the grid. Let’s just say that in 2018, Texas produced over 75,000 megawatt hours of power. That’s quite impressive and an example of how the seemingly impossible can turn plausible with the right minds and manpower behind the job.
While keeping the mind that vast amounts of political and economical support that a successfully enacted GND will need, the climate can only benefit from the spotlight, even if the outcome is much less impressive than proponents of the GND would like to achieve.
Overall, if the Green New Deal is ever approved by Congress, Texas will be the most likely candidate for leading the green revolution. If not, the state will keep investing in renewable energy regardless, and by extension, relieve some of the burden of climate change.