FLASH: Do not expect the renewable energy firms to endorse AOC socialist Green New Deal
US solar and wind power companies may have the most to gain from the Green New Deal, an ambitious proposal backed by several Democratic Presidential candidates to end U.S. fossil fuel consumption within a decade.
But do not expect the renewable energy firms to endorse it.
Representatives of America’s clean energy companies are withholding their support for the climate-fighting plan, calling it unrealistic and too politically divisive for an industry keen to grow in both red and blue states.
The cool reaction reflects the difficulty that progressive politicians vying for the White House may have in selling aggressive global-warming policy to the business community and more moderate voters.
It also underscores a new reality for US solar and wind power companies long associated with the environmental left: As they have improved technology and lowered prices, their growth is shifting from politically liberal coastal states to the more conservative heartland, where skepticism of climate change and government subsidies runs high.
“If you just broadly endorse the Green New Deal, you are liable to upset one side of the aisle or the other. And that’s not constructive,” said the CEO of SunPower Corp (NaSDAQ:SPWR), 1 of the nation’s biggest solar power companies.
“The idea that you could go 100% clean energy in 10 years would require a lot of things happening perfectly, simultaneously,” he said. “You’d have to have bipartisan support, 52-state support.”
The Green New Deal was introduced last month by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) (D-NY), along with Senator Edward Markey (D:Mass). It has since become the center of a hot debate in Washington about how vigorously the government must act to address climate change.
The Congressional resolution, which has no force of law, calls for the federal government to make investments to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in a decade by meeting 100 percent of America’s power demand with clean, renewable sources such as solar, wind, hydroelectric, or geothermal energy.
It also calls for massive investments in green infrastructure projects like “smart grids” to improve efficiency, along with a guarantee of millions of high-wage jobs with paid vacations, medical leave and retirement security. The resolution does not get into detail about how subsequent legislation would achieve these goals.
So far, at least 8 Democratic presidential hopefuls including Senators Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota have endorsed the plan as they seek to stand in stark opposition to the pro-drilling policies of President Donald Trump.
President Trump’s fellow Republicans have panned the Green New Deal, saying it would cost trillions of dollars of taxpayer money, may be technically unfeasible, and smacks of radical socialism.