On Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., unveiled the “Green Real Deal” at a media event in Washington, D.C.
Now in his second term in Congress, Gaetz insisted his proposal was “a plan to address climate change by harnessing the power of free markets, embracing technological innovation and entrepreneurship, and cutting excessive governmental red tape” and is “the preeminent conservative response to” U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s, D-NY, “Green New Deal.”
Gaetz’s office insisted his plan “recognizes that a national commitment to innovation, competitive markets, and the deployment of advanced energy technologies will help the United States as the global leader in clean energy” and the proposal “calls for increased investment in clean energy technology and sources, like solar and nuclear power, while improving transparency and accountability for the benefit of customers, investors, and shareholders alike.”
“Pointing to the unprecedented demand for job-creating, American-made clean energy, as well as the need to empower individuals and businesses to come together, the Green Real Deal harnesses the power of the free market to create millions of U.S. energy jobs and secure the nation’s position as a global environmental leader,” Gaetz’s office insisted.
Gaetz said the following at the media event:
Just yesterday, the Secretary of the Air Force, the Secretary of the Army, the Chiefs of Staff of both the Army and the Air Force testified to the House Armed Services Committee that in real time, climate change is impacting the strategic decisions that our military makes regarding weapons testing, basing decisions, the global movement of humans, and high-stakes territorial claims made by our advisories in the arctic.
Our military does not have the luxury of an academic debate about climate change. They must respond to the reality that we face today, and so should the United States Congress. History will judge harshly my Republican colleagues who deny the science of climate change. Similarly, those Democrats who would use climate change as a basis to regulate out of existence the American experience, will face the harsh reality that their ideas will fail.
Today, along with other members of Congress, I will be filing a “Green Real Deal,” a common-sense rebuttal to the “Green New Deal.” The Green Real Deal rejects regulation as the driving force of reform, and instead unlocks the unlimited potential of American innovation and ingenuity.
The question for America is pretty simple: either we want a bunch of bureaucrats in Washington telling us what we can’t do, or, we empower American innovators to unlock things that we can do. Do we really believe that if we outlaw cars, cows, planes, and buildings, that the rest of the world will follow?
Of course, they won’t- they will laugh at us. If we outlawed carbon emissions, do we really think that carbon-creating jobs, wouldn’t just move overseas as they have already done for decades? Is there a single piece of evidence, that emerging economies will put off their own economic development for a generation, to accommodate an environmental concern, no matter how legitimate?
And if we do not reduce global carbon emissions, if we merely export pollution, in service of our own virtue signaling, then we will not have done anything real to protect our beautiful planet. Being the world’s fool or patsy, will not combat climate change. Unilaterally disarming the American economy, through crushing regulations, will empower Washington, but few others.
Our rise in global leadership on climate, must be fueled by American innovators and I have a plan to support them. The Green Real Deal establishes four platforms, for American innovators to utilize, exploit and deploy for their success. The first, is an international marketplace, that is fair to American innovators.
Our current global trade and intellectual property policies fail to protect American innovation. Just look at solar. When photovoltaic cells were initially developed, America led the world in solar. And right now, our market share is collapsing, because China robbed American technology, replicated that technology inexpensively, and then replaced American companies in the marketplace.
China is now doing the very same thing with electric cars and electric vehicles. And so, by having better policies, with a platform of trade and intellectual properties. It’s a great platform for innovation and technology. The second platform that the Green Real Deal establishes, is a modernized electric grid for our country.
The American Society of Civil Engineers rates the American electrical grid a D+. This functions as a wet blanket over American innovation because there is no mechanism by which, that we can have renewable technology used given the vast fluctuations and capability and production and utilization of renewables.
But if we get this right, if we make the right investments in our grid, then we will create a class of energy entrepreneurs over the country. Where people can put up solar cells, access hydropower, and then move that power back on to the grid so that renewable cleaner energy can be democratized over wider swathes of the country.
The third critical platform, to unlock federal lands. Innovators should see our federal lands as an open canvas for renewable energy, research development tests, and evaluation. Instead, a complex series of regulations and special interest driven contracting processes, limit the ability of our beautiful spaces and our environment to contribute to their continued preservation.
The fourth platform is an inclusive technology doctrine, that would underlie an American innovation strategy. Right now, the nuclear regulatory commission won’t approve scalable modular nuclear reactors. Our agricultural and tax policies don’t even contemplate the best carbon capture technologies in the world.
And hydropower, some of the cleanest, cheapest, power you can access in our country, is too often blocked by needless government regulation. The Green Real Deal doesn’t tell Americans what they can and cannot do. It doesn’t use the apparatus of government to pick winners and losers in a distortion of the private market.
The Green Real Deal is a love letter to the American innovator and it is a real serious plan to address climate change.