Unions split with Democrats over ‘Green New Deal’

From The Washington Examiner

by John Siciliano | March 12, 2019 03:45 PM

Trade unions are firing back against the progressive “Green New Deal” agenda and, in doing so, are revealing a split between left-leaning labor and climate advocates in the House and Senate.

The “Green New Deal” is “not achievable or realistic,” read a letter from AFL-CIO energy committee heads Cecil Roberts, president of the United Mine Workers of America, and Lonnie Stephenson, president of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

“We will not accept proposals that could cause immediate harm to millions of our members and their families,” the union bosses wrote.

The letter was sent last week to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Ed Markey, D-Mass., the two leaders of the “Green New Deal” agenda. The letter has been trickling out on social media this week.

The Green New Deal was released by the two Democrats as a broad call to action on climate change, and has since become the policy platform for the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. It calls for radical action to reduce the threat of climate change by switching out the nation’s entire energy grid to renewables in just 10 years. It offers few particulars and has raised many feasibility questions by both Democrats and Republicans.

The unions want to be part of the climate change discussion but concede that their members need assurances that the infrastructure development required to meet the nation’s climate and energy goals will be part of the discussion.

The investments needed to meet the clean energy and climate goals, including increased natural gas use, must be paired with “strong labor and procurement standards to grow family-sustaining, middle-class union jobs,” the letter added.

Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., the chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, tweeted out the letter on Monday and said he agrees with the union bosses.

Read the full story here.

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71 thoughts on “Unions split with Democrats over ‘Green New Deal’

  1. When it’s the Republicans in Congress who are gleefully calling for a vote on the Democrat’s GND proposal, the sane person would sit back and think “WTF did we just do?” But insanity is the rule in the Democrats’ rush for the cliff now.
    Let’s keep giving them a push while reminding them who their President is.

      • I think you all underestimate how brainwashed the younger generations are. They buy it and dont give a damn about whether it would work or not its the right thing to do socially and that’s matters in the end or so they think.

        • The baby-boomers still outnumber the millennials for now. Yet the clash of ideology is as much ‘urban vs rural’ as it is generational, as shown by the 2016 vote. Many of the grandchildren in my circle of friends reject the idea that people control weather and therefore we can change anything. They just want the same scenario that we grew up in.
          Our schools here in rural IL don’t push anthro-climate change as fact like the Democrat-run megalopolis school systems.

          I agree with Patrick Moore that urban masses are spoiled by convenience and really don’t understand the devastating effect the NGD would have on their comfortable existence,

        • I think the “brainwashing” is OVER-estimated, actually. My Gen Z nephew, VERY media-savvy, blows off bad science, laughs at the PC morons who replaced the steak bar at his college with blueberry smoothies, has a wicked sharp mathematical mind, and has already served 2 officer-training internships on oil and LNG tankers. The kids are all right! But then he’s also an Eagle Scout, likes to shoot guns at the range, and was smart enough to dump the girlfriend who wanted to go explore experimental “genders.”

        • There are at least a few young people, probably more, that can see through the propaganda. Was just talking to a young friend, 15. He said it’s unreal that virtually all the kids he knows do almost nothing but video games. He likes something more hands on like fly combat with model planes. He also mentioned going to the library and other outside reading to get a better handle on what they are teaching in school. He does not want to be uneducated when he graduates.

          Another neighbor kid who started mowing our grass is much the same. He also has 6-8 neighborhood friends that play mock touch foot ball and wiffle ball after dinner, and and don’t do much video gaming.

          At least there’s hope we”ll have enough young people growing up to outsmart the uneducated liberals they’ll be dealing with.

      • Verge? VERGE?! I haven’t stopped the beer and popcorn since about July of 2016; this is better than the Barnum & Bailey, the Roman Games and the St. Paddy’s Day Parade all rolled up together!! Hell, I even learned how to actually say, “Schadenfreude!”

  2. I’m afraid that with the deficit spending becoming more of a problem, a “solution” will be to impose a carbon tax.

    • Isn’t that just an energy tax? A tax on carbon dioxide emissions is just a tax on the energy source (it is not a tax on carbon unless you are also taxing graphite, diamonds, etc.). As a Canadian I have wondered why energy taxes in the USA were so low, so there is room to tax a US gallon (the Queen Anne gallon), but be prepared for a backlash from consumers.

    • Deficit spending is my biggest concern as it passes todays bills on to the next generation.
      Carbon tax legislation has been withdrawn in the following states controlled by democrats: Maine, Oregon, Vermont, Rhode Island, and Hawaii. Voters twice rejected carbon tax legislative in very liberal and democratically controlled Washington State. There doesn’t appear to be an appetite for carbon taxes either among republicans or democrats.

      • If repubs are smart and want to take the starch out of the alarmism movement, they will promote a modest gas tax increase and call it a carbon tax or whatever people want to call it. Devil’s in the details of course, how much and what do you do with the money, but Trump and Repubs can take some pressure off themselves by doing this.

        Obviously this is not the purist skeptic approach but a gas tax is simple to administer and could support additional renewable research or whatever. Or, rebate it to taxpayers.

  3. From here in Oz, this makes the AFL-CIO folk look a lot smarter than their Democrat fellow-travellers. Any maybe this means that they aren’t fellow-travellers any more? Interesting times!

  4. AOC’s agenda is the globalists’ agenda.
    She’s guided and funded at arms-length by the ‘Committee of 300’.
    Her agenda is based on the Club of Rome “Climate Emergency Plan” available at the CoR website:
    https://www.clubofrome.org/2018/12/03/the-club-of-rome-launches-the-first-climate-emergency-plan/
    CoR is the public interface of the ‘Committee of 300’.
    Some well-known members include:
    Blair, Tony
    Bloomberg, Michael
    Buffet, Warren
    Bush, George
    Gates, Bill
    Gore, Al
    Greenspan, Alan
    Kissinger, Henry
    Murdoch, Rupert
    Rockefeller, David
    de Rothschild (most)
    Soros, George
    Steyer, Tom
    Full list of 300 members is now available on the internet.
    It was leaked by a member of the ‘Committee of 300’.
    Trump is increasingly beholden to Murdoch and others on the ‘Committee of 300’.
    Do not expect too much from Will Happer’s efforts.
    Findings will be watered-down and inconclusive.

  5. The economic destruction proposed is real. The solutions don’t exist and consist of bullshit, cliches, slogans, propaganda, vague phrases, and ambiguous goals. They fully intend to bullshit solutions by guesses and shooting from the hip, aka Greenpeace solutions. The interim from economic destruction to bullshit solutions is called mass starvation, destitution, and poverty. This is what the unions should have said. There is no concern about the Green Fascist deal. There is just rage and alarm that such a high level of stupidity is endorsed as policy.

    • Actually, I think the GND is the “argument” that will bring down ALL the nonsense about man-made “climate” as a matter for any policy. The science started wearing thin on “global warming” almost 20 years ago. You can’t keep the Chicken Little act up forever, and the ordinary people are not fooled by the crap about “extreme weather.” Journalists who fancy themselves “thought-leaders” keep pounding the idea that “everyone believes,” but out there in the real world I’m just not seeing it. In the absence of any kind of observed proof that we’re “causing” anything, let alone something alarming or dangerous, and given our newly-attained status of energy independence, I’m hoping that Ms. AOC’s self-parody “bill” is the final Monty Python skit that puts this nonsense to bed–once and for all. Mitch McConnell seems to be seeing it that way, certainly.

      People are not going to give up their quality of life for a “benefit” which lacks any credible evidence.
      We’re just NOT that stupid.

  6. The investments needed to meet the clean energy and climate goals, including increased natural gas use, must be paired with “strong labor and procurement standards to grow family-sustaining, middle-class union jobs,”

    Translation: Make lots of room for our snouts in your trough and we’ll stop fighting you.

      • No, he never said that. You are quoting the fictional character Gecko in the movie Wall Street, and the phrase is a socialist screenwriters parody of the capitalist position.

      • Reagan’s point was related to how a group, with each individual acting only in their own best interest, will allocate scarce resources more efficiently than central planning could ever hope to achieve.

      • Try Adam Smith from hundreds of years earlier. in his Wealth of Nations. And it wasn’t called ‘greed’ then, it was called ‘self interest’ which all of us work by.

      • Greed is what leftists call self interest. The point is the same as Adam Smith’s with his example of (I believe) a pin maker.
        The pin maker doesn’t make pins because he’s been generous. He does so because he wants to earn money so that he can feed his family. However, the users of pins are better off because there is someone out there making pins.
        As a result of the pin makers self interest, society is better off.

        • And presto an economy of the General Welfare (Constitution remember?) springs from the pins “spontaneously, unknowably” according to the London School of Economics von Hayek, by the invisible hand of Smith.

          That’s alchemy – essenses secreting from pins.

          • It’s not alchemy, it’s reality.

            Individuals, seeking to create wealth for themselves, end up creating wealth for everyone at the same time.
            It’s what always happens when individuals are permitted to run their own lives.

        • The rest of the story is, he gets good at making pins, maybe even buys some equipment so he can produce thousands or even millions of pins a day. Now the guy next door might make shoes, be very good at it, might make a couple of pairs a day. Now he could make his own pins, but he’s not very good at it so he could only make a few a day. The guy making pins might be able to make himself a pair of shoes, but it could take him months to produce a pair. And in the meantime he’s not making any pins.

          Now when the pin maker needs a pair of shoes he could negotiate with the cobbler until they agree on some number of pins to buy a pair of shoes, but then how many pins does the cobbler pay to someone else for what they make that he needs? And what if they don’t need or even want pins? This is where cash comes in. Cash normalizes everything. So the pin maker sells his pins for cash until he has enough cash to buy a pair of shoes from the cobbler. They both get something of utility made far more efficiently than trying to make it themselves so they’re both better off. THAT is the invisible hand.

  7. I’m glad Labor Unions are finally starting to realize the New Green Deal would cause massive unemployment of union workers in the: oil, gas, coal, construction, agricultural, meat packing, milk product, automotive, aircraft, trucking, food processing, energy, heavy and light industrial, forestry, dock worker, airport, consumer good, retail, housing, banking, finance, farming equipment, pharmaceutical, health insurance, medical service, etc, industries…

    There would be no private sector industry that wouldn’t be severely and adversely affected by even a tiny portion of this insane GND being implemented..

    I have to thank AOC for personally assuring Trump wins re-election, and the GOP takes back the House in 2020..

    My theory is that AOC is actually a deep-cover GOP operative, “because, like, no one, you know, could, like, be, like, this stupid…whatever”….

    • AOC is actually a bad actress that answered a casting call and is a sock puppet of transformational leftists (Justice Democrats) who are basically un-american. Her Chief of staff (the guy putting the words in her mouth and who wrote the “unwilling to work” GND talking points) was a “Justice Democrats” founding member.

      If the media was honest, this would have all come out by now. It will likely come out in the next few weeks, but she will just deny it and say that its all a “stupid conspiracy theory”, and her explaining what actually happened, on video is being “taken out of context”.

      • “If the media was honest, this would have all come out by now.”

        The dishonest Leftwing Media is searching for a savior. Someone who will save them and their socialist agenda from Trump. They are looking for a socialist Trump. And so they seize on any personality that might fit this case, which is why they are promoting AOC and “Beto”. They are promoting them in hopes that AOC and Beto will rise to the occassion and sweep the Republicans before them.

        The Left is desperately seeking a socialist Trump. I don’t see any on the horizon. At least not among the current batch of candidates. And I don’t think one will appear because one would have to be very talented to sell socialism to the people of the United States, especially considering all the examples we have of socialism ending badly for millions of people who tried it in the past, and we have an ongoing example of the failure of socialism in Venezuela.

        The Democrats may find a smooth talker somewhere among them, but I think it takes more than that to make American buy into a poorer, less free future, which is what socialism offers.

    • If one believed in conspiracy theories, one might wonder whether the Gnomes of Davos have ordered the Democrats to “throw” the 2020 election to Trump. Sure is what it’s shaping up to look like . . . 😉

  8. Aggressors make mistakes.
    ‘Committee of 300’ have made the same mistake as Hillary.
    They’ll try to remedy it with great urgency.
    It won’t be easy for them!
    Many unions will go to the right in the manner of Trumps coal unions.

  9. Well colour me completely unsurprised… it’s all beer and skittles until the money/job questions are raised…

    I’m getting popcorn…

  10. Everything comes back to the availability of cheap, reliable electricity.

    The whole of modern civilisation is directly or indirectly dependant on that
    simple fact.

    If the Greens want to live in a world minus cheap, reliable electricity, there
    are plenty of Islands where they can set up communes and then they can say
    it works, come and see us.

    But of course it will not happen, that is not really in their long term
    game plan,

    MJE

  11. Concrete is made by baking limestone over 1000 C and driving off CO2 to make lime, CaO. Concrete would certainly have to be banned in a Green New Fascist world.

  12. Do not stock markets “price in” things? If according to AOC’s ideas and the IPCC’s astounding (have you read it?!) SR1.5 product the world is coming to a fossil fuel determined end in about a decade plus, should I not be selling grandma’s 2.5% War Loan?
    Can’t say I’ve noticed a tremor.

  13. For our friends on the left who think increases in the marginal tax rate is a panacea for everything, they need to keep these things in mind as perspective.
    Bush I took office in 1989 and increased marginal rates in 1991. Clinton increased marginal rates in 1993. After both tax rates increases went into effect the net gain in income taxes was only $8 Billion. That was with a total tax base of ~$1 Trillion. A measly 0.8% increase.
    By 2000 Clinton had balanced the budget. The myth is he balanced the budget with the marginal tax rates. The truth is that spending went up by only $400 Billion from $1.4 Trillion to $1.8 Trillion and out of the added tax revenue only $100 Billion was due to the marginal tax rates on income taxes. How did the BushI/Clinton tax hikes go from $8 Billion in 1993 to $100 Billion in 2000? Because of Real Growth in Gross Income. The tax base grew nominally by 75%. But more importantly the Real Growth rate exceeded 5% for 5 of those years, 1996-2000. The total tax revenue from 1992 to 2000 increased by $925 Billion. Of that, SS Tax Revenue increased $200 Billion, Corporate Taxes went up $100 Billion, Miscellaneous taxes increased $100 Billion, Capital Gains taxes went up $100 Billion and the marginal tax rates and Real Growth in the tax base accounted for the Rest.

    Between 1948 and 2000 there was not a single year where the Adjusted Gross Income was below a previous year. From 2001 to 2016, there were 8 years where the AGI was below a previous year. Because of a drop in Real Growth in the economy and a drop in inflation, the Tax Base has grown far below the rates of 1948-2000. Real Growth 2001-2016 in AGI averaged 1%, compared to ~3% the last half of the 20th Century.

    In 1948 and 1949, even with the top marginal rate at 91%, the Effective Tax Rate was only 9%. That is, the % of AGI paid in income taxes was 9%. Add 1% for SS Taxes gives a grand total of 10%. Today, the Effective Tax Rate for the combined Income Taxes & SS is about 21%.

    The estimate for AGI in 2020 is ball park $11 Trillion. Spending at the Federal level will be $4.7 Trillion. State/Local will be $2 Trillion. So, out of $11 Trillion in the Tax Base of Americans, $6.7 Trillion has already been budgeted.

    The Net Interest on the National Debt Held by the Public was $240 Billion in 2016. By2021 it’s projected to be $548 Billion. That is assuming continuation of historically low interest rates. That amount of Net Interest is greater than the combined spending of nearly all Departments and agencies.

    In 1945, after a huge buildup of Debt due to WWII the Debt Held by the Public was $235 Billion. The AGI was $120 Billion. So, Debt was nearly double AGI. After the Reagan years Debt exploded, but here is the difference between 1945, 1990 and now. The 1990 AGI was 50% higher than the Debt. In 1945 the Debt was 2x AGI, but with 55 years of Real Growth of 3% in the future. Today, the Debt will be $19 Trillion in a couple of years but AGI of only $11 Trillion AND MOST IMPORTANTLY the Real Growth in the Tax Base has been only 1% since 2000.
    Good Luck AOC with the snake oil.

    • The myth is he balanced the budget with the marginal tax rates.

      You can stop that sentence after the word budget. Clinton didn’t balance the budget, the national debt continued to climb (meaning he still had a deficit). While he managed to cut back on issuance of public debt, he did it by increasing the amount of inter-government debt (IE he borrowed from government programs that hold debt as assets such as the Social Security trust fund rather than borrowing directly from the public). Clinton’s balanced budget was an illusion created via shell games, nothing more.

      • John

        I was trying to throw a bone to the left. The Gross Debt did go up $15 Billion in 2000 being a net change between increased debt to SS, etc and reduction of Debt Held by the Public. Both on budget and off budget shows receipts exceeding spending.
        The whole Social Security issue and the borrowing from it for 3 decades has never been something either party wants to discuss.

        I get the essence of what you are saying, but I was focused on the general perception that the marginal rate increases have a much larger impact on tax revenues than they do.

        Further, the major point is that we have a government structure and promises created in the mid 20th Century period when we had 3% Real Growth of Adjusted Gross Income while since 2000 we’ve had 1% Real Growth. Every percentage point makes a huge difference over 20-30 years.

        • I was trying to throw a bone to the left.

          Two things you never do with the left
          1) Apologize, they only smell blood and attack all the harder
          2) throw a bone, they only smell a feast and attack all the harder.

    • Actually Clinton instituted a big tax cut in 1996, lowering the capital gain and estate tax rates. Revenues increased after that tax cut.

  14. All things in sequence. General recognition that the climate is starting to cool is not here yet. Then we have to go through an extended period where warmists claim cooling is caused by human activity

  15. It’s good to see the unions are recognizing that they must support the working people, and not just professors and public servants.

    • When the crafts saw the rest of the campus I retired from unionize, We knew hard times were coming for contract negotiations. AFSCME did more harm than good to the bargaining table environment. I would expect them to probably resist the craft unions’ views on this, due to their constituency

  16. Private unions threatening to bolt the Democratic party will definitely get their attention. But the current spate of Democratic candidates have been stupid, and committed in complete haste to suck up to the far left greenies and the AOC agenda. To appease the (non-public sector) unions, they’ll need to embarrassingly walk back these loony left pledges. Those who do walk it back will be seen as squishy and indecisive, which is not a good look for a would-be national leader and Commander in Chief. So, my fearless prediction is that the Democrat presidential candidates will double down, and look bad doing so. Which may create a bit of an opening for “centrist” candidates like Colorado Governor John Hickelooper, and the not yet declared Joe Biden, who are, unfortunately for them, both old white guys. These next two years are not going to be happy ones for Democrats, IMO. And particularly, not for “the boss” (AOC). Buy popcorn.

      • If the Dems can drum out the progressive socialist faction the centrists might return, but for now moderate Dems are the “walkaway” Dems that elected Trump.
        Perhaps in the future the party will be split into socialist and centrist parties, both claiming to be the true Democratic party. Organized labor hates the thought of uncontrolled influx of potentially ‘free-agent’ workers into the US. This will cause another schism between them and their former saviors.
        The party has become too liberal for thinking people to have any confidence in its future, much less the fate of the economy if they get to be in charge.

  17. In order for America to accomplish in 10 years what the Green New Deal entails we would need to do the following.
    Enslave 250 million Americans and make them work 16 hour days working on the goals. Attack, defeat and enslave China, India and Russia and make their 3 billion people work 16 hour days providing the supplies needed.
    Of course, doing this would have the following fall out. In order to defeat those 3 nations to make them slaves would require a nuclear war that would probably kill off half the population of the earth and 80 to 90% of the population of the United States of America. Making the other half of the population of earth do the work would result in 10 years of ecological destruction to have made the last 150 years look like nothing in comparison. Just simply getting the rare earth minerals extracted and put into all the windmills and solar panels required would take about 10 times the amount of energy that Humanity has already gathered and used over the last 150 years.

    But hey, it is all great on paper.
    Step 1, replace all energy with renewable.
    Step 2, Rebuild every structure in America. (would be required after the nuclear war anyways.)
    Step 3, ???
    Utopia and heaven on earth!

    And Republicans and conservatives are the party of anti-science!

  18. I don’t know the future but here in Colorado the current new governor and his “D” party are about to choke oil and gas out of the state. No skin off the oil companies, they have somewhere else to go. Colorado will be left holding an empty bag. I have no idea what these people hope to accomplish but every person who was thankful for the money oil and gas brought to the state can only go with the companies or find new work. With no benefit from extraction and shrinking economic activity in our rural areas this could get bleak. And, to top it off the idea that oil and gas should be subject to severe restrictions was just voted down in the last election when a ballot initiative was rejected. The Democrats feel like they have control with no accountability. If they pass a bill that allows restrictions to go unchecked they will have a lot of suffering to account for but they seem unafraid of the electorate.

  19. Yeah, they’re only against the GND because they think it’s “unrealistic”, and because it might hurt them. Other than that, though, they are firmly onboard the CAGW ideology and agenda. Hypocrites and morons, in other words.

  20. Now the following observations of the way politics actually works
    is clearly shown in Australia. All of thee States with the exception of
    Queensland have most of the population living in the capital city.

    The thinking of those people tends to be far more Greenish , to the point that
    some think that meat only comes from the Supermarket, and not of course the
    countryside.

    But Queensland is different, most of the population live outside of the Capital Brisbane, which has a Labour Government , but the people outside of the capital are very conservative, possibly because they live in the real world.

    This coming Federal election, May, will see Queensland be the battleground
    as to what Federal government we have for the next three years.

    I m sure that the same situation would apply in the USA too.

    MJE VK5ELL

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