Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s much-discussed Green New Deal has plenty of goofy stuff in it that is laughable and easily dismissed, but to do so without considering the underlying principles and challenging the leftist dogma is a mistake. In a recent article in National Review (What is the Green New Deal?), Travis Kavulla provides a valuable take on some serious parts of this debate as it develops in the public square after the celebrity-driven novelty wears off. Kavulla is Director of Energy and Environmental Policy at the R Street Institute and former President of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, and he writes that Republicans need to get serious about creating new climate policies that will put consumers first. The proposal he makes is for a Customer Empowerment Act, under which a retail market for energy choices would be much preferable to the coercion of government.
It struck me that the centerpiece of his argument should be foundational for all environmental policy deliberations and is worth quoting in full:
“My fundamental argument against a Green New Deal is that it relies on state-led central planning in which the risk of making the wrong choice on technology is socialized to a captive set of ratepayers even while profits go to monopolies that have cozied up to a Green New Deal bureaucracy.”
It also occurred to me that this is a pretty good working definition of socialism as contemplated by the far reaches of the Democrat left and would be a good idea to remember.