Green New Deal vs Fracking: Big oil wants to scare you with ludicrous numbers (But it just ain’t so!)

  • Published on March 4th, 2020

On Wednesday, a trio of right-wing groups released a report claiming that, per the Daily Caller, the Green New Deal would cost swing-state households $75,000 a year. If this sounds familiar, that’s because it’s just an update to a similar report they put out last year which found the GND would cost households $70,000 a year. Since we disassembled that and the CREEP-y and “bogus” numbers it relies on back then, we’ll assume you don’t need to be dissuaded of the notion that anything that comes out of these groups is in any way reliable. It also may be a good time to remind everyone that one of the aims of the GND is to hold those who made this mess accountable rather than individuals.

Tom Toles cartoon - climate change deniers still throwing snowballs

By Climate Denier Roundup

That said, yesterday Josh Siegel at the Washington Examiner reported that the American Petroleum Institute has released a new report claiming that a ban on fracking and on leasing oil and gas on federal lands could cause a recession, reduce GDP by $1.2 trillion, and cause the loss of 7.5 million jobs. It would also supposedly increase annual household energy costs by $618 on average, gas prices by 15%, and annual electricity costs by 20% per family.

Something tells us that like the GND attack, API’s report makes some rather bold assumptions that just-so-happen to inflate the final numbers. Anyone interested in figuring out exactly how probably wouldn’t need to do much digging.

We will say that API is right that banning fracking would eliminate fracking jobs. And on an even grander scale, the transition from fossil fuels to renewables will mean a lot of people will need to find new employment.

But that transition is non-negotiable. The longer we wait to make it, the worse things will be for the climate and humanity. And with renewables now largely cheaper than gas and only getting cheaper, even without climate concerns a clean grid appears to be coming along.

So really, which would people prefer: a barebones, purely economic transition where the free market decides that fossil fuels are no longer worthwhile and employees are left to fend for themselves, or a just transition where these unemployed former fossil fuel workers are provided healthcare while they’re unemployed, access to retraining programs, a guarantee of a new job, and childcare for when they get that new job?

The whole point of the Green New Deal’s expansive (and yes, expensive) public welfare programs is to provide security and protection not only for the Americans who have been hurt by the use of fossil fuels, but also those who have been employed by the industry.

Relative to the carbon tax policies that some in the industry have started to support, the Green New Deal would provide a much higher quality of life for those who are soon-to-be-formerly employed by the fossil fuel industry.

And yet, instead of supporting the Green New Deal, they’re attacking it.

Almost like the industry is more concerned about corporate profits than the well-being of their employees, whose jobs they’re using as political blackmail against the policy that would actually benefit those employees the most over the long run.

(Crossposted with DailyKos. Cartoon by Tom Toles from the Washington Post – get his book on climate change co-written with Michael Mann, The Madhouse Effect.)

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