Monday, January 14, 2019

Explain to me how the Green New Deal is a bad thing?

The Green New Deal has been getting a lot of press lately. It's not your fault if you think this is something new. In fact, it has been around for years. I've heard it proposed numerous times over the years and Wikipedia states the term traces back to a 2007 article in the New York Times and the New York Times Magazine. But, since the Democrats took back the House of Representatives in the 2018 election, with help from the anti-science platform of Trump and the Republicans, it has gained a new spotlight in the public forum. In particular, the idea of a Green New Deal was a mainstay of the upset campaign of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York.

This has now become the new boogey-man for the anti-science, climate-change deniers. They have embraced the fossil fuel industry, taken their money, and sold the well-being of the public and the environment, so of course they're going to be opposed to anything that might challenge that industry's profits. But, that's the strange thing. Somehow, they are spinning this thing as an evil plot by socialists, who they claim are anti-American and anti-economy. Well, I've been engaged in my own New Green Deal this past fall and I can say this is something the Republicans should be proclaiming and taking credit for. Let me show you what I mean.

First. I installed solar panels on my house. I now have enough panels to supply 100% of my electric needs over the course of a year. My local utility doesn't pay me for excess electricity I might generate, but does give me credit. That means some months I'm banking billing credits as I send more electricity to the grid when I'm generating than what I take from the grid at night. Other months I'm taking more than I generate and will use those credits. My net electric usage since the panels went online at the beginning of October is I've banked nearly a full month's worth of electricity usage. I'll use that up in the summer months.

To pay for these panels, I took out a home improvement loan. The monthly payment on the loan is almost exactly my average electric bill over the last three years. That makes this program revenue neutral. Basically, it didn't cost me a thing to go solar. When electric costs go up, my costs will remain the same. And, I added a carport in the loan. That means I got a free carport out this.

Second. I bought a Tesla Model 3. Since it's electric, I charge it at home off my solar panels. I keep detailed records of my home finances and my automobile expenses averaged over $4000 over the last three years on gas, maintenance and repair (over $2000 per year on gasoline alone). That means I'm putting about $350 per month in my pocket that I can spend on other things. And, since it's a savings, this money is tax free. I've already paid taxes on it.

Third. I installed new, high-grade efficiency windows in my house. I had very old windows that were leaky and troublesome. They were the single-pane, circa-1940s type with the counterweights and ripples in the glass from the manufacturing process. The screens were shot and some wouldn't open while some wouldn't close all the way. I had them all replaced (17 of them!) with very modern, high-efficiency windows. As a result, I had to lower my thermostat by three degrees after installation because the house was getting too hot. Plus, they're quieter. The house is much more comfortable as a result.

Bonus. I've been engaged in a project to repaint the exterior of the house. During this effort, I'm finding a lot of bad caulking and rotted wood that I spent a lot of time repairing and replacing over last spring and summer. Even last summer before the new windows were installed, I could tell a difference in the comfort of the house.

Summary and Benefits. I bought solar panels from an American company (creating American jobs), had them installed by a local company (creating jobs in my community), saved money on my electric bill that I can now spend on other things and got a free carport because of it. I bought an American-made car (creating American jobs) and put thousands of dollars a year into my pocket. I bought American-made efficiency windows (again, creating American jobs) and am saving on my heating bill (and, I'm sure, my AC bill come summer) while improving the comfort of my home.

So, I went green, created American and local jobs, and improved my financial situation and comfort.

Explain to me how this is a bad thing. Please.