My column today at WashingtonExaminer.com.
Despite the mixed signals from the 2020 election, the exit polling indicated one clear loser: the Green New Deal.
Joe Biden was both for and against the Green New Deal. In a debate, he said it would pay for itself. Sentences later, he denied he supported it even though his website said the Green New Deal was a “crucial framework” for his own plan.
No matter, though. The exit polling shows that the climate issue was simply not a voter priority anywhere. The high mark for climate seems to have been in Colorado, where 9% of voters said climate was their priority. But in states such as Florida, Texas, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and even Biden’s Delaware, a mere 3% of voters said climate was their priority.
None of this is to say that Democrats won’t keep trying to force the Green New Deal or variations of it down our throats. They certainly will.
What are the prospects for the success of the Green New Deal in a Biden administration?
It looks like Republicans might successfully defend the Senate, and they have even picked up several seats in the House. So, we could expect a return to the Obama era of congressional stalemate on the climate issue, perhaps with some unilateral executive pen-and-phone regulation.
There would almost certainly be no successful major climate legislation, i.e., no Green New Deal, coming out of Congress.
The Green New Deal, instead, would be implemented by the regulatory agencies.
A Biden Department of the Interior could be counted on to ban fracking on federal lands. A Biden Environmental Protection Agency could be counted on to roll back the Trump administration’s pro-fracking deregulatory efforts, such as the methane rule. The Biden Department of Energy could be counted on to ratchet up energy efficiency standards further so that appliances, for example, become pointlessly more expensive.
And because the Senate would only be narrowly controlled by Republicans, there would be scant opportunity for the use of the Congressional Review Act to overturn Biden administration excesses.
Lawsuits could be a way of slowing the Biden regulatory juggernaut. But that path is tortuously long and expensive, and you never know what the outcome will be.
Corporate America would be quick to do the bidding of a Biden administration, just as it was during the Obama administration. Corporations would, by and large, assume that Democrats and the Green New Deal are here to stay and would be eager to please and benefit from close ties and a symbiotic relationship.
Let’s not forget Biden’s promise to reenter the Paris climate accord on Day One. Although the original Obama administration agreement constituted an illegal dodge around the constitutional requirement for Senate ratification, one can easily imagine the Biden administration implementing the promised emissions cuts as though they were required by law. Could the Senate or anyone sue to stop this? It is hard to say, and the damage might already be done by the time a legal challenge is successful. This is what happened to the coal industry during the Obama administration. The Supreme Court halted the regulations only after irreparable damage had been done.
The public doesn’t want the Green New Deal. People say so in every poll. A 2019 Washington Post-Kaiser Foundation survey found that most people would oppose paying even a mere $2 more per month on their electric bill for climate purposes. The polling running up to the election failed to indicate a significant pulse among voters for the climate. The New York Times exit polls report more of the same.
And if the average person realized the truth that Green New Deal policies just raise prices and reduce their standard of living without improving the weather or climate in any discernible way, support for it would be zero.
Steve Milloy publishes JunkScience.com. He served on the Trump EPA transition team and is the author of “Scare Pollution: Why and How to Fix the EPA.“