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Point of View: This deal is bad for America and Oklahoma

Sen. Jim Inhofe
Sen. Jim Inhofe

During the State of the Union, President Trump declared, “America was founded on liberty and independence — and not government coercion, domination and control. We are born free, and we will stay free. Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country.” It was a powerful moment from my seat in the chamber and it clearly resonated across the nation as 76 percent of viewers approved of his speech.

Days later, the Democrats responded by introducing the Green New Deal resolution, a wish-list of socialist solutions to the left’s favorite bogeyman — man-made climate change. However, there is nothing “new” in this deal. It's a collection of all of the old policies the radical environmental movement has pushed over decades of global cooling, global warming and climate change fear-mongering.

The only thing “new” is that in order to combat climate change, Democrats believe the government must also take over the health care and housing industries, while ensuring everyone’s economic security, even if they are unwilling to work. In other words, use the pretext of the Green “New” Deal to transform us into a socialist country.

The Green New Deal is a bad deal for America, and Oklahoma in particular. The Democrats’ plan seeks to “reorient our entire economy,” including overhauling whole industries like the energy, transportation, manufacturing, farming and health care industries.

What does that mean for you?

If you like your truck, you will not be able to keep your truck because the Democrats’ plan won’t let you travel by anything other than electric vehicle, high-speed rail or public transit. To make matters worse, with their elimination of fossil fuels and nuclear energy, you won’t even be able to charge your electric vehicle unless it’s sunny or windy outside!

If you enjoy affordable energy, powered by an “all of the above” energy policy that includes oil, natural gas, coal and nuclear, you will not be able to keep low energy bills. Costs for energy will skyrocket and reliability will plummet.

If you are part of the agriculture industry, regulations surrounding tractors and ranching will crush your family business. If their plan doesn’t completely eliminate meat from your diet, you’ll be paying substantially more for it as an imported luxury.

And this is just the “environmental” part of their plan — not the radical economic takeover. While the defenders of this socialist utopia are not concerned with the cost, you should be. One reliable estimate shows the Green New Deal will cost $93 trillion over 10 years. Put another way, that’s $600,000 per household. It is unclear how the Democrats expect to pay for this, but it's clear they will have to raise your taxes — substantially — to do so. After all, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., the author of the New Green Deal resolution, has only suggested raising taxes on the very wealthy — but we already know that won’t be enough.

Maybe that’s why the Democrats ducked the vote this week on the Green New Deal. Rather than being willing to take a stand and be on the record for or against this radical policy, they merely voted “present” so they didn’t have to face the reality that broad majorities of the American people recognize their plan to turn this country into a socialist fantasy.

But, as Margaret Thatcher correctly noted, “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.” Capitalism, freedom and innovation have raised more people out of poverty and solved more of the world’s problems than government ever has. Case in point — the USE IT Act, legislation that would promote private-sector solutions for carbon use. We just had a hearing on this in the Environment and Public Works Committee solidifying the fact that we will continue to use fossil fuels well into the future. Let’s keep the innovation engine of Oklahoma, and America, moving — not ground to a halt by old-fashioned climate alarmism.

Inhofe, R-Tulsa, is Oklahoma's senior U.S. senator.