GOP convention speaker gets Green New Deal completely wrong

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The Democrats' Green New Deal would create over a million jobs a year.

The Green New Deal is a Democratic plan to reduce carbon emissions and grow the economy through clean, renewable energy solutions.

On Tuesday night, Robert Vlaisavljevich, a Minnesota mayor, attacked the Green New Deal during an appearance at the Republican National Convention.

"Joe Biden has allowed radicals like AOC to craft his environmental policies," Vlaisavljevich said, referring to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) by her initials. "Their so-called Green New Deal is a job-killing disgrace dreamt up by people who don't live in the real world."

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Since the Green New Deal was introduced in early 2019, Republicans have misrepresented numerous elements of the plan. Here are just a few:

Jobs will be created

Despite the claim made Tuesday night, a 2020 analysis by Scientific American estimated that "a cleaner-energy approach motivated by carbon taxes would promote innovation, open up new markets and produce an economy with more jobs."

The analysis estimated that a carbon tax would "boost U.S. employment by 1.4 million jobs each year between 2020 and 2030."

Air travel will not be banned

In February 2019, Donald Trump falsely claimed that the Green New Deal would "shut down a little thing called air travel." FactCheck.org called the claim "False," noting there was no language in either the House or Senate plans calling for an end to air travel.

The plan will not cost $100 trillion

In April 2019, Trump claimed Democrats were "pushing a $100 trillion government takeover of the US economy, known as the Green New Deal." In truth, there is no estimate yet on how much such a plan would cost to implement, but supporters of the Green New Deal say the benefits would far outweigh any costs involved.

As the New York Times noted in February 2019, "One conservative think tank has pegged the cost to the federal government of providing Medicare-to-all at $32 trillion over 10 years, but supporters claimed it would actually save taxpayers $2 trillion over 10 years."

Cows will not be eliminated

In February 2019, Trump tweeted that the Green New Deal would permanently eliminate cows. There is no plan to eliminate cows or hamburgers, as FactCheck.org notes.

The misinformation appears to stem from language in the plan that would make farming carbon-neutral, but there are no proposals that would get rid of cows or any other livestock.

Ice cream will disappear

In the same sense that cows will not be eliminated, ice cream will not disappear.

In February 2019, Sen. John Barasso (R-WY) falsely claimed, "There's another victim of the Green New Deal, it's ice cream," despite no such language existing in the proposal itself.

In July 2020, Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA), one of the lead sponsors of the Senate version of the Green New Deal, mocked the claim with a photo of himself and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) eating ice cream together. The photo was captioned, "We had just introduced the Green New Deal and Republicans were saying we wanted to ban cows. So we got ice cream. Happy National Ice Cream Day from me and my friend @AOC."

Cars will still exist

In February 2019, Trump also falsely claimed cars would be eliminated under the Green New Deal.

The Washington Post reported that this claim was false. Cars would be required to be more fuel-efficient, but nothing in the plan would eliminate cars altogether.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.