How the Green New Deal avoids ‘green eye shades’
By Todd Tiahrt
The Washington Times April, 2019
Pipelines are a key link for our families and our country. They fuel the electrical power grid that keeps our lights on, the farms that feed us, the trucks that deliver what we need, and the transportation we use to pick up our kids from school. Yet pipelines are the bane of the radical environmentalists that support the Green New Deal.
The Green New Deal has been praised by not only environmental activists but also by some in the national media, non-traditional liberals, Democratic Socialists and a few presidential candidates, all without regards to the “green eye shades.”
A Bloomberg.com opinion piece about the 2013 Budget Committee hearings in Washington refers to the “green eye shades” as the individuals who are excessively concerned with financial matters or small and insignificant details.
It is those very details, however, that underscore the impracticality of the Green New Deal and reiterate the role that pipelines play in safely transporting fuel to a growing, successful economy.
Consider just the first of the five goals of the Green New Deal, which is to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions within 10 years! Greenhouse gasses are primarily carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) all of which are related to the production, transportation, refinement and use of fossil fuels. So, for the radical Green New Deal advocates their goals include stopping the use of pipelines.
That is why we have seen radical “green” opposition not only to fossil fuels but to one of the safest and most economical means of moving those resources, our pipelines.
Stymying the construction and operation of this infrastructure not only crushes our economy, but it puts the environment at risk by moving fuels by truck or train both of which add to the risk of spills and are more carbon-intensive transit options.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, “the pipeline network has about 3 million miles of mainline and other pipelines that link natural gas production areas and storage facilities with consumers.” Further, the U. S. Department of Transportation Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration reports that the natural gas delivery system is the safest form of energy delivery in the nation.
Ironically, without these pipelines the goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, which essentially relies on solar and wind power, is completely unachievable. Simply said, you cannot have solar or wind power without the use of fossil fuels, natural gas in particular.
The green eye shades know that the wind doesn’t always blow and the sun doesn’t always shine so to maintain base load electrical power requires electricity on demand to fill the power gaps. Electrical power on demand is increasingly provided by electrical generators fueled by natural gas transported through our energy infrastructure network. Paradoxically, blocking a pipeline blocks the Green New Deal.
Further, in 2018 our country became the largest energy producer in the world and we are on track to become the largest oil and natural gas exporter within the next five years. The green eye shades know that means growth to our economy, the creation of more jobs and a significant impact on our trade deficit. Key to this growth and job creation is transporting oil and natural gas through pipelines. Hindering pipelines obstructs our future economic growth.
It is no wonder the “green eye shades” are avoided by the proponents of the Green New Deal. Those individuals — and those details — keep the pipelines operating safely, fueling an exciting growing economy, creating more jobs and they are shedding light on the destructive Green New Deal.
Todd Tiahrt is a former member of Congress from Kansas who served on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
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