By Thomas Sheffield
During the Great Depression, President Franklin D Roosevelt proposed a New Deal intended to lift American’s to a different standard of living. There is now another New Deal available many politicians are proposing. A Green New Deal (GND)has the potential do the same thing. A GND could reduce climate pollution while uplifting struggling families at the same time. Although we are lead to believe the economy is doing “great”, everyone is not doing that well as the cost of living continues to rise and the quality of life continues to decline. Studies have shown the cost of living in the US is increasing at the fastest rate in 10 years. The rising housing cost and rising transportation costs are huge factors as low and moderate income and people of color continue to pay a higher percentage of their incomes on those things. Do you feel it?
According the the American Council on an Energy Efficient Economy, low income households pay almost 4 times the percentage amount of higher income households for utilities and more than 50% the average for transportation. Studies also show lower income communities and communities of color share a disproportionate amount of pollution related health impacts which lead to rising healthcare costs. We therefore have an opportunity for jobs upgrading the energy grid and investing in solar and wind to minimize energy costs and pollution that has a direct effect on our health.
The GND proposes an Economic Bill of Rights which include well paying green jobs for all. Solar panels don’t get installed on their own, smart batteries and electric cars don’t manufacture themselves and new green spaces are not created without human labor. All these things are not only great ways to create jobs but are great for the planet. Secondly, the GND proposes the conversion of the old, gray economy into a sustainable economy that is environmentally sound, economically viable and socially responsible. Next is proposed financial reform which includes relieving the overwhelming burden of homeowner and student debt. Finally, the GND proposes reforms to voting which allows everyone’s voice to be heard by voting.
The US Energy and Employment Report shows as of 2017, 3.2 million people are working in wind, solar, energy efficiency and other clean energy jobs. The US has always lead the world in innovation and exploration, however, countries like China are outpacing the US in renewable energy. Investments by the federal government would help the US stay competitive and allow us to keep cost low and lower pollution but the Trump administration continues to live in the past and rely on fossil fuels killing innovation. As we transition into a new congress, we need to keep the pressure on our elected officials to spend their time enacting programs that benefit many not the few. Contact your local representative and insist proposals in the GND are enacted.
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