Former Starbucks CEO and 2020 presidential hopeful Howard Schultz appeared in a CNN townhall event where he called the “Green New Deal” climate change plan floated by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as “not realistic” and “immoral.”
The Green New Deal is an unorthodox (to say the least) plan to reform the entire U.S. economy to combat climate change, proposed by the freshman Democratic Socialist Congresswoman from New York.
- Rebuild every single building in the U.S: “Upgrade or replace every building in US for state-of-the-art energy efficiency.”
- Will end all traditional forms of energy in the next ten years: The Green New Deal is “a 10-year plan to mobilize every aspect of American society at a scale not seen since World War 2 to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.”
- Plans to ban nuclear energy within 10 years if possible: “It’s unclear if we will be able to decommission every nuclear plant within 10 years, but the plan is to transition off of nuclear and all fossil fuels as soon as possible.”
- Build trains across oceans and end all air travel!: “Build out highspeed rail at a scale where air travel stops becoming necessary.”
- Don’t invest in new technology of Carbon Capture and Storage, just plant trees instead!: “We believe the right way to capture carbon is to plant trees and restore our natural ecosystems. CCUS technology to date has not proven effective.”
- Mandates all new jobs be unionized: “Ensure that all GND jobs are union jobs that pay prevailing wages and hire local.”
- May include a carbon tax: “We’re not ruling a carbon tax out, but a carbon tax would be a tiny part of a Green New Deal.”
- May include cap and trade: “…Cap and trade may be a tiny part of the larger Green New Deal plan.”
The kicker, of course, is how Ocasio-Cortez says her plan should be paid for:
The Green New Deal would be paid for “the same way we paid for the original New Deal, World War II, the bank bailouts, tax cuts for the rich and decades of war — with public money appropriated by Congress,” Ocasio-Cortez said, according to the Associated Press.
It’s pretty easy to see why Schultz, formerly a major Democratic donor, would call the plan “not realistic.”
Schultz suggested during the CNN town hall that while those proposing the plans were not “disingenuous,” they were rolling out the plan because it sounds good.
“I read that by 2030 they’re suggesting that every building in America becomes clean energy, conforms to clean energy, just to put that in perspective, because it’s not realistic, that would mean that between 2,000 and 3,000 buildings a day would have to be reconstructed to conform to what they’re saying,” Schultz said. “So let’s be sensible about what we’re suggesting.”
Schultz also suggested that the plan was not affordable:“I don’t understand how you’re going to give a job for everybody, how you’re going to give free college to everybody, how you’re going to create clean energy throughout the country in every building of the land,” he said. “I think it’s immoral to suggest that we can tally up $20, $30, $40, $50 trillion of debt to solve a problem that could be solved in a different way.”