Study: 'Green New Deal' Would Cost $75-K Per Household in Year 1

Costs would always be $37-K or more in all subsequent years

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez / Getty Images
July 30, 2019

Implementing the "Green New Deal" (GND) would cost just shy of $75,000 per household in year one of the program and would never drop below $37,000 per household in any of the following years, according to a study released Tuesday.

The report by the free-market think tank Competitive Enterprise Institute and the pro-energy group Power the Future analyzes the implementation costs of the GND that became a rallying point on the left boosted by the promotion of freshman Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D, N.Y.) earlier this year.

The study conceded that many elements of the GND "are so broad and open-ended" that "it is impossible to calculate the whole or maximum cost of the GND." But the examination tried to gauge future costs along the key program categories of additional electricity demand, costs associated with shipping and logistics, new vehicles, and retrofitting buildings for greater energy efficiency.

"At a minimum, the GND would impose large and recurring costs on American households," the study said. "We conclude that in four of the five states analyzed—Florida, New Hampshire, New Mexico, and Pennsylvania—the GND would cost a typical family more than $70,000 in the first year of implementation, approximately $45,000 for each of the next four years, and more than $37,000 each year thereafter."

"In Alaska, estimated costs are much higher: more than $100,000 in year one, $73,000 in the subsequent four years, and more than $67,000 each year thereafter," the report concluded.

The investigation was limited to those five states as a sample set.

In continuing to promote the GND this summer, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez was placing a price tag of $10 trillion on the program.

"I think we really need to get to $10 trillion to have a shot," Ocasio-Cortez said last month.

"I know it's a ton," she added. "I don't think anyone wants to spend that amount of money, it's not a fun number to say, I'm not excited to say we need to spend $10 trillion on climate, but ... it's just the fact of the scenario."

President Trump, meanwhile, was giving the GND a total cost of nearly $100 trillion.

Although the GND was introduced in February, it still exists only in resolution form, meaning there is no bill pending in either chamber of the congress.

Since its introduction, the GND has been the banner and touchstone of the emerging progressive wing of the new congress and has also become something of a barometer for Democrat politicians.

All Democratic presidential candidates are asked about their support of the GND while on the campaign trail, and the policy idea has seen remarkable moments, some of them almost pop-culture like, for a policy idea that is not even yet a bill.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell tried to expose the left's support of the GND as feckless when he brought the resolution to a floor vote in the Senate. All Republicans voted against it and all Democrats voted "present," meaning none actually cast a vote in favor of the deal.

"Later today, the American people will see which of their senators can do the common-sense thing and vote ‘no' on this destructive socialist daydream," McConnell said just before that vote in March. "And they'll see which senators are so fully committed to radical left-wing ideology that they can't even vote ‘no' on self-inflicted economic ruin that would take a sledgehammer to America's middle class."

Earlier in February, California Senator Dianne Feinstein (D.) had a viral moment when a group of children confronted her in her office and pushed her to support the GND.

"Senator, if this doesn't get turned around in 10 years, you're looking at the faces of the people who are going to be living with these consequences," an adult chaperoning the children said.

Feinstein reacted coolly but stood firm.

"You know what's interesting about this group is I've been doing this for 30 years. I know what I'm doing," Feinstein said.

"You come in here and you say it has to be my way or the highway. I don't respond to that. I've gotten elected, I just ran. I was elected by almost a million-vote plurality. And I know what I'm doing. So you know, maybe people should listen a little bit."

The entire incident was later spoofed on Saturday Night Live.

Questions to Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s office about the new study and when more specifics about the GND will be made available were not returned to the Washington Free Beacon.