On Sunday, Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” with host Jake Tapper.
During the segment, Tapper asked Murphy about the feasibility of the “Green New Deal (GND),” a piece of environmental legislation that was proposed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), and now has 67 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives.
TAPPER: You co-sponsored a resolution outlining a green new deal in the Senate this week that calls for a sweeping overhaul of the entire U.S. economy in 10 years by “meeting 100% of the power demand in the United States through clean, renewable, and zero emission energy sources.”
A fellow senator who caucuses with the Democrats, independent Senator Angus King of Maine, as well as Obama’s former energy secretary Ernest Moniz, say they don’t think that this plan is realistic.
MURPHY: I think it’s absolutely realistic and I frankly think we need to set our sights high. I think there are a lot of people who said that it wasn’t realistic for the United States to get a man on the moon by the end of the 1960s when President Kennedy initially outlined that goal. But we did it. And I think we have to set our sights high.
I have a 10-year-old and 7-year-old. Global warming is an existential threat to the planet. And so if we don’t command this country to think big about saving our nation and our world from destruction, then I don’t think we’re going to get close to meeting the mark.
As Mediaite’s Caleb Howe pointed out, Sen. Murphy didn’t offer any explanation regarding “why or how [the legislation] is realistic or practical.” Jake Tapper’s question about the legislation’s feasibility was instead met with a rhetorical flourish about how people doubted former President John F. Kennedy’s plan to put a man on the moon.
Extreme Tech reports that the entire Apollo Program was said to have cost approximately $25.4 billion in 1973, or between $143.7 and $152 billion in today’s dollars. According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the budget for fiscal year 2019 is $4.4 trillion.
Although there isn’t an official cost estimate on the Green New Deal, several columnists have put together loose appraisals based on the estimated costs of some component pieces.
According to Bloomberg’s Noah Smith, who has a PhD in economics, the plan could cost as much as $6.6 trillion per year. NPR has set the cost more generally at “trillions upon trillions of dollars.”
To put this in perspective — the entire Apollo Program cost approximately 2.2% to 2.3% of what one year of the Green New Deal would cost, according to Smith’s yearly estimate.
Some of the more outlandish text of the Green New Deal proposal reads:
…the goals described [above] … should be accomplished through a 10-year national mobilization … that will require the following goals and projects –
…meeting 100 percent of the power demand in the United States through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources…
…upgrading all existing buildings in the United States and building new buildings to achieve maximal energy efficiency, water efficiency, safety, affordability, comfort, and durability, including through electrification.
…to achieve the Green New Deal goals and mobilization, a Green New Deal will require the following goals and projects –
…providing resources, training, and high-quality education, including higher edu- cation, to all people of the United States, with a focus on frontline and vulnerable communities, so those communities may be full and equal participants in the Green New Deal mobilization.
…guaranteeing a job with a family-sustaining wage, adequate family and medical leave, paid vacations, and retirement security to all people of the United States.
…providing all people of the United States with – (i) high-quality health care; (ii) affordable, safe, and adequate housing; (iii) economic security; and (iv) access to clean water, clean air, healthy and affordable food, and nature.
You can read the text of the proposal in its entirety here.