by Katia Dmitrieva and Emily Chasan, Bloomberg
Even before Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts, both Democrats, introduced their Feb. 7 resolution outlining a “Green New Deal,” members of both parties were calling the idea unrealistic or worse. Republican Mike Simpson of Idaho, who sits on the House Appropriations Committee, said it was “loony” without specifying why, and John Barrasso, Republican chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, labeled it an “absurd socialist manifesto.” Even House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who’s been fearless in the face of Republican opposition on other issues, failed to bless it.
The plan’s greatest flaw, critics say, is that it would be too costly. Ocasio-Cortez advocates deficit spending, and she’s floated a 70 percent marginal tax rate for high earners that would generate some of the necessary revenue. But those worried about where the rest of the money will come from are forgetting one major, surprisingly enthusiastic player: Wall Street.
Investors are more than willing to put up the capital to fund GND goals—which include switching to 100 percent renewable or clean power in 10 years, building a nationwide energy grid, and renovating existing buildings for energy efficiency—provided they get clarity from Congress, says Jon Powers, president of financial technology company CleanCapital and former federal chief sustainability officer under President Obama. “The thing that holds up capital the most is uncertainty,” he says. “Once you have certainty in that policy, then that capital will know where to go.”
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