A bill introduced with relatively little public notice in September 2017, the OFF Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act (OFF Act), is gaining support from Democrat political candidates across the nation.
As stated in the bill, the OFF Act would require “100 percent renewable energy by 2035 (and 80 percent by 2027), places a moratorium on new fossil fuel projects, bans the export of oil and gas, and also moves our automobile and rail systems to 100 percent renewable energy,”
Socialist Rise Raises Profile
Although the bill introduced by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D–HI) has lingered in committee for more than a year and has yet to receive a hearing, it recently began to garner more publicity with the high-profile upset win of self-described socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York for the Democratic nomination for a U.S. House of Representatives seat over an incumbent from the party’s leadership.
Ocasio-Cortez’s website has an extensive political platform, and its section on climate and energy says, “Climate change is the single biggest national security threat for the United States and the single biggest threat to worldwide industrialized civilization.” To reduce that purported threat, Ocasio-Cortez proposes the United States transition to a 100 percent renewable energy system by 2035, which is what the OFF Act would require.
Recognizing a transformation of the massive U.S. energy system, which took more than 80 years to build, in just 17 years would be a herculean undertaking, Ocasio-Cortez proposes a “Green New Deal” similar to the Marshall Plan that rebuilt Europe after World War II in requiring “the investment of trillions of dollars.”
Gabbard’s OFF Act has also received support from hundreds of Democratic Party candidates for local, state, and federal office in 2018 who have signed a pledge, developed by the lobbying group Food & Water Action, to push for the 100 percent renewable energy mandate. The pledge calls the OFF Act “the most aggressive piece of climate legislation ever introduced in Congress.”
Ocasio-Cortez’s anti-fossil-fuel proposal is irresponsible, endangering the U.S. economy and our geopolitical standing, says Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry.
“The liberal outrage mob currently driving the Democratic political machine seems to think we can shed our need for fossil fuels by sheer will power,” said Landry. “This goal is not only unattainable but fundamentally destructive to our nation’s security, economic, and environmental interests.
“To abandon our domestic energy industry in exchange for a pipedream is not just irresponsible, it’s geopolitical suicide,” Landry said. “If America abandons its energy economy, then unfriendly world powers like Russia, Venezuela, and Iran would gain significant clout in the global energy market.”
Landry says if radical environmentalists’ attempts to end the United States’ use of fossil fuels are successful, it will bring ruin to the country.
“OPEC would essentially run unchecked if the U.S. ended domestic fossil fuel production, as our energy production is the only thing keeping the world’s most famous cartel at bay,” said Landry. “There are real dangers here: to our economy, to our land, and to our nation’s safety.
“This type of militant environmentalism seeks to destroy the fossil fuel industry, but the consequence of chasing these illusions may very well be the destruction of our country,” Landry said.
Expects Political Repercussions
Ocasio-Cortez’s rise and the growing popularity of the OFF Act show the extent to which socialist thinking has captured the Democratic Party, says Peter Ferrara, a senior fellow of The Heartland Institute, which publishes Environment & Climate News.
“Democrats that are embracing these socialist zero-fossil-fuel energy proposals that would destroy millions of jobs and put the United States at a huge economic disadvantage when competing against other countries—especially China, India, and other developing nations—are plain nuts,” Ferrara said. “The proposal to phase out and ban fossil fuels is virtually guaranteed to produce mass poverty, mass starvation, and genocide, like socialism itself.
“Democrats pushing these policies might as well be chanting ‘Death to America’ at their political rallies,” said Ferrara.
If Democrats keep pushing socialist policies, they will be in for a surprise in this year’s midterm elections, Ferrara says.
“Fortunately, if Democrats keep nominating extremist nuts advocating genocidal policies for the American people, like banning fossil fuels, I think voters are going to impose the unthinkable on them in the 2018 midterms, as people come to realize the only way to change the oppressive insanity the Democrats advocate is to vote them out of office,” Ferrara said.
“Democrats are working hard at getting into Ronald Reagan’s ‘dustbin of history,’ with their socialist policies leading to a historic, fundamental political realignment in this midterm, losing the Democratic Party blue collar workers for good, and shocking percentages of blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and Jews as well,” Ferrara said.
‘An Attack on Consumers’
Policies restricting fossil fuels are part and parcel of modern-day green socialist central planning, says Rob Bradley Jr., CEO of the Institute for Energy Research and a policy advisor to The Heartland Institute.
“Energy is the master resource, and fossil fuels are the cornerstone of a modern energy system,” said Bradley. “An aspirational zero-fossil-fuel mandate is central economic planning in slow motion.
“This initiative is a backdoor carbon tax,” Bradley said. “Democrats’ war against mineral energies is an attack on consumers and taxpayers, one that voters will have an opportunity to veto in the voting booth.”
H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D. ([email protected]) is a senior fellow at The Heartland Institute.