By Chris Woodward, Billy Davis
It's being described as progressive and ambitious, or laughable and silly, but the "Green New Deal" is definitely making headlines regardless of your views on fossil fuels, air travel, and cow flatulence.
A resolution that reads like a Green Peace wish list predates Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, but the rising Democratic star and her democratic socialist Justice Democrats have embraced a plan that was released for public consumption this week.
The New York Times described a "breathtaking" plan that would forcibly move the United States from fossil fuels to "zero-emission energy sources" within 10 years, further describing it as a "blueprint for liberal ambition."
Yet it might be news to many Democrats that getting rid of airliners and air travel is on the to-do list for fellow Democrats including the freshman congresswoman, who says high-speed rail must replace air travel and electric cars must replace your SUV.
Digging further into the resolution, it calls for upgrading literally every home and commercial building in the United States for "maximum energy efficiency," and replacing tens of millions of gas-burning automobiles with electric cars.
Reactions after poring over the document range from alarm over its radical, economy-crushing ideas to derision for its plans for economic justice such as promising "economic security" even for people "unwilling to work," and demanding that the tens of thousands of proposed jobs created to overhaul our infrastructure must be union jobs only.
The reference to "farting cows" predictably set off laughter on political talk shows and Twitter, but CNBC sought to rescue Ocasio-Cortez from ridicule:
Methane gas produced by bovine flatulence contributes a significant portion of the greenhouse gases contributing to global warming, according to the United Nations.
Others have suggested that the document is not technically vowing to get rid of cows but instead states the goal of net-zero emissions, rather than literal zero emissions, "because we aren't sure that we'll be able to fully get rid of farting cows and airplanes that fast!"
Still others have suggested the word "fully" in that sentence is a worrisome sign of the document's intent: allowing the federal government to completely change America , including beef production, if it is viewed as harming the planet.
Writing at The Washington Examiner, Tiana Lowe suggests phrases such as the government taking an "equity state in projects" is government-speak for nationalizing America's entire energy industry.
The resolution also presents a problem for Democrats, since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has no plan for the resolution to be marked up as a House bill, The New York Times also reported.
Politico reported this week that Pelosi mocked it as "the green dream, or whatever they call it," but later called it "enthusiastic" after the resolution was formally introduced.
Yet other Capitol Hill lawmakers, including some presidential hopefuls Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren, are publicly lining up behind the plan.
U.S. Sen Ed Markey (D-Massachusetts) is a co-sponsor of the resolution along with Ocasio-Cortez.
Merrill Matthews of the Texas-based Institute for Policy Innovation tells OneNewsNow the Green New Deal would require a lot of greenbacks.
"And it's virtually impossible as a goal," Matthews adds. "We don't have plug-in jetliners. We don't have plug-in trains. We don't have plug-in battleships. So we're not going to be able to move those over very quickly."
It is technically possible to move to 100 percent renewable energy to generate electricity, says Matthews, but that would require a massive increase in the number of wind turbines and solar panels at a time when all forms of so-called renewable energy provide only 17 percent of the nation's electricity.
Wind accounts for 6.3 percent of that amount and solar provides 1.3 percent.
"Right now, most of the Southeast doesn't have wind turbines. You would have to expand them," Matthews continues.
Matthews also points out that wind turbines tend to be bird-killing machines.
However, supporters of wind energy have insisted to OneNewsNow in recent years that feral cats are also to blame for bird deaths.