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Poll: After Three Years of ‘Bidenomics,’ Granite Staters Still Struggling To Pay Bills

It may be the holiday season, but New Hampshire households aren’t singing “Hallelujah” over the state of the economy under President Joe Biden.

Thanks to rising prices, high interest rates, and gasoline hovering above three bucks a gallon, Granite Staters say their household budgets are hurting. In the new BIA Report on Consumer Confidence, conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, 46 percent said their household family condition was worse off than a year ago, while just 15 percent said it was better off.

That 46 percent number is nearly twice as high as March 2021, just after Biden took office (24 percent). UNH polling director Dr. Andrew Smith said inflation is the culprit.

“Inflation just permeates across the entire economy, and it hits lower-income people hardest,” Smith said.

According to the survey, 55 percent of Granite Staters with an annual household income below $75,000 said they were worse off than they were a year ago, as compared to 37 percent of those earning $150,000 or more.

“And more than two-thirds (69 percent) of those with a household income below $75,000 say they struggled a lot in the past twelve months to afford basic necessities like food, clothing, and electricity,” according to the UNH survey.

That starkly contrasts the “Bidenomics” message from the White House and from Democrats who gathered for the state party’s Eleanor Roosevelt fundraising dinner Friday night.

“President Joe Biden has an incredible track record of success,” said U.S. House Minority Leader Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.). “Under President Joe Biden, wages are up, inflation is coming down, and more than 14 million private-sector jobs have been created.”

In August, Rep. Annie Kuster cheered how “congressional Democrats and President Biden took action to lower costs, strengthen the workforce, and get our economy back on track.”

According to the survey, that is not the view of most Granite State residents, and Gov. Chris Sununu said he wasn’t surprised by the numbers.

“The national inflation crisis is real and has hit everyone hard. Whether it’s buying a car or home or just managing credit card debt, people across this country are suffering because of bad policies driven by the Biden administration. Elections can have terrible consequences, and families across the country are now feeling the financial pain,” Sununu said.

“Luckily, in New Hampshire, we offset the challenges of inflation by not adding additional unnecessary tax burdens to our citizens. That approach is exactly why New Hampshire continues to lead the country through such tough economic times.”

Even as New Hampshire’s economy grows, the record high housing costs are a major contributor to the financial squeeze felt by all, said Michael Skelton, President and CEO of the BIA.

“New Hampshire’s strong economy continues to provide great opportunities for workers,” Skelton said. “But the scarcity of housing continues to keep rent and home ownership difficult for many, especially those with moderate to low incomes. The high cost of housing also makes it more difficult to pay energy costs in New Hampshire, which are among the nation’s highest. These remain top issues for our elected leaders to tackle to expand prosperity.”

Democrats argue that, with inflation closer to 4 percent than the 9 percent it hit last year, the problem has been solved. Smith said that misses a key part of the story.

“Prices aren’t declining; they just aren’t going up as fast as they were before,” he said.

Increasing interest rates to slow inflation made matters arguably worse. High interest acts as a ratchet on the economy, Smith explained. High rates mean people are spending more to borrow for cars homes, and even pay off credit card balances. Those added interest payments mean people have less to spend on basics.

Smith said that high interest rates, unaffordable homes, and expansive gasoline are all reminiscent of the economic malaise of the 1970s.

“That wasn’t a pleasant time.”

Republicans running in the First in the Nation presidential primary say they are hearing these concerns from Granite State voters firsthand. They argue the solution starts with a change at the top.

“In January, Granite Staters have the chance to reverse Bidenomics and elect Nikki Haley to be our nominee. She’ll unleash American energy and create an economic revival across the nation,” said Haley spokesman Ken Farnaso. “She’ll lower costs, cut taxes, and put more money into our wallets. With Nikki on the ticket, America is one step closer to making Joe Biden a one-term president.”

DeSantis spokeswoman Lindsey Curnette says DeSantis is focused on lowering energy costs which will have a major impact on inflation.

“Ron DeSantis has a detailed plan to restore American energy dominance. He will crush Bidenomics and support working Granite Staters by unleashing oil and gas exploration and development, pipelines, and infrastructure on day one.”

Pappas, Hassan No-Shows at ‘Rally for Renewables’ in Concord

New Hampshire’s 350 Action organization hosted a “Rally for Renewables” on Sunday. The climate-change activism group wasn’t expecting Sen. Maggie Hassan or Rep. Chris Pappas to make an appearance, and neither did.

“Sen. David Watters (D-Dover) will be speaking, and I imagine we might have some more state representatives, but the state’s federal delegation are not expected to be there,” said 350 NH’s Rebecca Beaulieu ahead of the event.

And now that Hassan and Pappas have become vocal proponents of more oil and gas drilling, the question is whether they would have been welcome.

In the past, both incumbent Democrats were longtime supporters of restrictions on oil and gas production and

‘Rally for Renewables’ on Sunday, March 13, 2022. (Credit: Facebook)

higher taxes on U.S. companies producing fossil fuels. Both have declared climate change an “existential threat.” But now they face a hostile political climate and, as the costs of gasoline and home heating products have soared in the Granite State, they’ve abandoned their climate-change policies and embraced increased a new position on fossil fuels: higher production and lower taxes.

Hassan has repeatedly called for energy companies to pump more oil and gas. “We’ve got to stand up to Big Oil and really tell them that they need to start increasing production,” Hassan said last week.

She also signed a letter to the White House urging the Biden administration to use its leverage to push for more oil and gas in the marketplace. “We should insist that our international partners do more to increase production and stabilize prices,” Hassan wrote.

Pappas has followed the same path from climate-change advocacy to promoting oil production. Pappas had been a supporter of the Biden administration’s energy policies, including shutting down the Keystone XL pipeline on its first day in the White House and issuing restrictions on new energy production.

But now?

“Developing more domestic energy is an important step forward. We should be looking to maximize our production, ‘all of the above,'” Pappas said last week.

He added that one way to help make America less vulnerable to the international gas and oil markets is “making sure all the [oil and gas] leases are fully utilized today.”

All this increased oil production will impact global warming and represents a step back for climate activists like 350 Action, though Beaulieu declined to call anyone out by name. Beaulieu said all political leaders need to work on moving from fossil fuels to green renewables.

“Democrats and Republicans alike should support a just transition to renewable energy and pass policies (including the Build Back Better package) that get us off of oil. Everyone deserves clean air, clean water, affordable transportation, and a livable climate,” Beaulieu said.

On Sunday, Watters and green energy activist Dan Weeks, co-owner at ReVision Energy, spoke out against expanded fossil fuel production and in favor of more renewable energy generation. Neither mentioned their fellow Democrats who have taken a different stance.

Hassan and Pappas can’t seem to lose support among environmental groups, no matter what they do. Hassan recently snagged the New Hampshire Sierra Club’s endorsement. Pappas has avoided public criticism for taking campaign cash from the lobbyist for Russian gas compel Gazprom despite signing a pledge against such donations.

Pappas and Hassan are in line with the Democratic Party when it comes to disappointing climate activists. Biden deflated hopes last year when his administration held the largest auction in history for oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico, representing potentially 600 million more tons of greenhouse gases released into the environment.

Activists this week told the Washington Post they are afraid for the future, thanks to Biden and the Democrats.

“I’m really scared about it,” said Varshini Prakash, the executive director of the Sunrise Movement told the Post’s Dave Weigel. “Talking to young people, there’s a lot of fear about our inability to pass climate policy at the federal level.”

Climate activists are hostage to the Democratic Party, supporting Democrats despite their inability to pass policies like the Green New Deal. Some of that, according to Weigel, may just be a political reality.

“There’s no political appetite for that, much to the chagrin of people in the climate movement,” Danielle Deiseroth, the lead climate strategist at the left-wing polling and advocacy group Data for Progress, told the Post. “We couldn’t just shut it all off tomorrow, and we’re realizing that more than ever.” 

CBS Poll

As New Hampshire’s green activists gather in Concord, the question is whether they will choose to speak out against policies they oppose, even when the politicians supporting them are traditional liberal allies like Hassan and Pappas.

When NHJournal recently speculated 350NH would continue to endorse Hassan, Pappas, and other Democrats regardless of what energy policy they embraced, the organization responded with a tweet:

“Where is our endorsement?”

New Report Says Green New Deal Would Hit N.H. Middle Class Hard

Bernie Sanders’ aggressive climate policy could bankrupt New Hampshire’s middle class. That’s the finding of a new study on the costs of the Green New Deal (GND).

The Competitive Enterprise Institute, Power the Future, and the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty analyzed implementation costs in 11 states, including New Hampshire, and found that it would cost the average household more than $75,000 in the first year and more than $40,000 each year thereafter. In New Hampshire, the first-year costs would exceed the median household income.

“The Green New Deal would effectively destroy America’s energy industry, and with it, our entire economy,” said Daniel Turner, executive director of Power the Future.

The new study builds on one released by CEI and Power the Future last July analyzing electricity, vehicle, housing upgrade and shipping costs in five states: Alaska, Florida, New Hampshire, New Mexico and Pennsylvania. The new study adds Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin to the analysis.

The Green New Deal was introduced by U.S Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) ostensibly to combat climate change. The proposal also includes additional progressive policy goals like guaranteeing a living wage and universal healthcare.

However, the sponsors did not include a price tag in their GND proposal and determining its true cost has been elusive. Various organizations from across the political spectrum have attempted to determine the total cost by breaking down its components.

For example, expanding renewable energy to provide 100 percent of the country’s power grid would cost upwards of $200 billion a year for 10 years, according to physicist Christopher Clark. Upgrading every house and industrial building for energy efficiency would run about $10,000 per structure for a total of nearly $1.4 trillion, according to several estimates.

The Green New Deal for Public Housing Act introduced by Cortez and Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) — which would put organic groceries and onsite childcare into every public housing community — would cost between $119 billion and $172 billion over a decade. That plan also calls for giving a free bicycle to every resident.

Electrifying the United States, though, is more complicated than halting investments and productions of fossil fuels and adding a few power lines. To eliminate carbon emissions, America would need to produce twice as much electricity as it does today, which would require the construction of additional — and expensive — infrastructure. For example, a study for the Brattle Group found that while New England has been adding about 280 megawatts of energy from renewable sources per year, to eliminate carbon from energy production by 2050, that number would need to increase by 2,400 percent every year.

The GND also poses a potential threat to New Hampshire’s dairy and agriculture industries.

An addendum to the report looked specifically at the cost of the Green New Deal to Wisconsin’s agricultural sector, which employs 11.8 percent of the state’s workers. Author Will Flanders, research director at the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, noted that the GND’s “architects set a goal to get to net-zero, rather than zero emissions, in 10 years because we aren’t sure that we’ll be able to fully get rid of farting cows and airplanes that fast.”

Farmers would have to pay $2,000 per cow to offset the bovines’ carbon dioxide emissions, according to economist William Nordhaus. “This could lead to mass closures of small farms in an industry that is already struggling,” Flanders wrote.

In New Hampshire, the effects would be just as devastating says Shawn Jasper, the Granite State’s agriculture commissioner. “You’d put everybody out of business,” he told NHJournal. “There wouldn’t be a cow left in New Hampshire.”

The Granite State dairy industry employs 5,300 people and pays $55 million each year in taxes, Jasper notes. “Farmers are already doing a great job on carbon sequestration with strategies like no-till land management. Targeting dairy cows is just ridiculous.”

The CEI-led study found that the transition to the GND would cost households in its 11 target states $2.7 trillion. Although costs would decrease after the first year of implementation and then again after year five, households would still be on the hook for tens of thousands of dollars each year.

In New Hampshire, the year one cost is estimated at $74,723 and the year five costs would come to $39,821.

“It’s a shame this study didn’t come out before the New Hampshire primary, which was won by a candidate who promised to implement the Green New Deal if elected president,” said Andrew Cline, Executive Director of the Josiah Bartlett Center, a free-market think tank in the Granite State. “The median household income in our state is a few hundred dollars less than what this study estimates to be the Green New Deal’s per-household cost in New Hampshire in its first year. It would’ve been fun to see a voter ask about that.”

In Alaska, the year one costs are estimated at $84,544 and costs after year five would come to $51,740 annually. Other costs in the first year and annually after five years, per state state, are $74,287 and $40,450 (Colorado); $76,109 and $40,828 (Florida); $76,683 and $41,602 (Iowa); $74,470 and $40,602 (Michigan); $74,432 and $40,970 (New Mexico); $74,609 and $40,697 (North Carolina); $75,807 and $40,663 (Ohio); $75,307 and $40,983 (Pennsylvania); and $70,252 and $40,906 (Wisconsin).

“The Green New Deal is a politically motivated policy that will saddle households with exorbitant costs and wreck our economy,” said CEI President Kent Lassman. “Our analysis shows that, if implemented, the Green New Deal would cost… American households at least tens of thousands of dollars annually on a permanent basis. Perhaps that’s why exactly zero Senate Democrats, including the resolution’s 12 co-sponsors, voted for the Green New Deal when they had the chance.”

For a state like New Hampshire, where the fifth-highest electricity prices in the country are already driving away some businesses, the real costs of pursuing GND climate policies could be significant.

“New Hampshire’s portion of the bill comes to more than half of the state’s entire GDP, and that’s excluding the non-energy workplace regulations contained in the Green New Deal,” Cline said. “Clearly, New Hampshire can’t afford this preposterous scheme.”

Climate Progressives Push Biden From the Political Center

To some observers, Joe Biden’s climate proposal announced in New Hampshire on Tuesday is a rebuttal to previous reports that he would seek the “middle ground” on climate policy. Instead, Biden’s $5 trillion plan for tax hikes, tariffs, and government enforcement mechanisms is now the “middle ground” in the current climate debate inside a Democratic Party that has shifted well to the Left.



Progressives sense the momentum they’ve seized on the climate issue. Just hours after Biden released his plan, the activist group Sunrise Movement sent out an email taking credit for Biden’s decision to abandon his moderate stance on climate. “The Movement leads, Biden follows,” the email began.

“Last month, when Joe Biden’s advisers said he would find a ‘middle ground’ on climate policy, we made clear that was unacceptable.

“We sparked national outrage and this morning we saw that pay off: Biden put out a comprehensive climate plan that calls for a ‘Clean Energy Revolution’… Journalists are also now reporting that Joe Biden will sign the No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge.”

Biden’s published policy is certainly more aggressive than his campaign rhetoric. Among other things, “The Biden Plan For A Clean Energy Revolution and Environmental Justice” calls for:

  • A 100% clean energy economy and net-zero emissions no later than 2050
  • $1.7 trillion in new federal spending
  • Tax hikes on businesses and corporations
  • ‘Tariffs’ on foreign countries who don’t take sufficient action on climate
  • Some form of “price or tax on carbon dioxide pollution” by 2025 to raise energy costs.

“In some ways, Mr. Biden’s plan goes even further than the Green New Deal,” according to the New York Times.

Not to be outdone, on the same day Sen. Elizabeth Warren proposed $2 trillion dollars in direct spending for her “Green Apollo Program” and “Green Marshall Plan.”

Meanwhile, former congressman Beto O’Rourke (D-Tex.) has called for $5 trillion over 10 years to combat climate change, and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has a $9 trillion plan to cut emissions.

Environmental activists in New Hampshire certainly like what they’re seeing. ECHO Action NH has been pushing candidates at the state and national level to reject contributions from Big Oil. “Any candidate who is unwilling to extract themselves from their relationship with the fossil fuel industry will not meet our high level of expectations for climate action candidates,” Stephanie Scherr, the group’s executive director, tells NHJournal. “ECHO Action has been meeting with presidential candidates regularly. We have been pleased with our conversations with many candidates whose messages are in line with our own.”

Embracing Green New Deal politics promoted by groups like ECHO Action (Biden calls the GND  “a crucial framework for meeting the climate challenges we face”) may appeal to affluent, suburban liberals, but working-class Democrats are starting to pick up on the inevitable impact these policies would have on labor unions.

Which raises the question: Why?

Why has Biden, who has worked so hard and had so much success as the moderate alternative in the progressive-dominated 2020 field, allowed himself to be pushed so far left on climate policy?

Coming to New Hampshire to announce his proposal, for example, is problematic given the state already pays some of the highest energy prices in the country. A kilowatt of electricity is about 60 percent more expensive in the Granite State than the national average.

In addition, a recent NHJournal poll asked New Hampshire voters how much more in utility costs they are willing to pay to achieve climate policy goals. Almost half said they were unwilling to pay even a single penny more, while just 17 percent would  pay $50 or more a month to fight global warming.

Is this really the issue where Biden should plant his far-Left flag?

John Podesta, founder of the Center for American Progress Action Fund, thinks so. His organization recently released a poll showing that climate change is a high-priority issue for Democratic primary voters. “[Our] polling demonstrates that voters will demand that the Democratic nominee make climate action a top priority and key pillar of her or his platform,” Podesta said.


Morning Consult polling April 2019


Perhaps. But Gallup has been polling Americans on their most important issues for years and in May 2019, just 4 percent of voters ranked it as number one. An April Morning Consult poll of Democratic primary voters found just 8 percent said climate policy was their highest priority.

Green energy proposals like Biden’s have high price tags, raise serious questions about their economic impact and threaten every homeowner with higher energy bills.  In exchange, they motive what appears to be a small segment of the overall electorate, one that’s already solidly in the Democratic camp.

Biden may have let himself be pushed into a corner.

Have Democrats Declared a War on New Hampshire Cows?

Is your cheeseburger an endangered species?

Reports of the death of America’s beef and dairy industries at the hands of the Green New Deal (GND) may be exaggerated, but both farmers and their Philly steak ‘n cheese eating fans have reason to be concerned about policies embraced by progressive Democrats.

Claims by some opponents of the #GreenNewDeal that it would mean an end of the cattle industry in America are inaccurate—for the simple reason that the GND doesn’t offer any specific policies. The legislation actually filed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) is merely a resolution declaring general goals and directions, not specific laws and regulations. On this issue the resolution  merely calls for “working collaboratively with farmers and ranchers in the United States to eliminate pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector as much as is technologically feasible.”

However, the FAQ handout from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez that originally accompanied the proposal was much more aggressive and, many farmers fear, far more accurate about the GND’s goals.

It demands a “a greenhouse gas free food system,” and bemoans the fact that GND doesn’t call for an end to all GHG emissions because “we aren’t sure we can get rid of farting cows and airplanes that fast.”

Supporters of AOC, as Rep. Ocasio-Cortez is known, argue that this FAQ document was mistakenly released, a work in progress, and doesn’t reflect the immediate goals of the Green New Deal effort. However, what’s undeniable is that cows—and their gaseous emissions—are in the crosshairs of the climate change activists’ agenda.  They have to be.

If advocates of the Green New Deal are serious about getting close to zero emissions, or even a net-zero target using offsets, they have to confront the amount of greenhouse gases coming from livestock. In the US, agriculture is responsible for about 9 percent of our emissions. But according to the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization, livestock worldwide account for 14.5 percent of global greenhouse gases. That’s more than the entire transportation sector (14 percent).  Plus, climate activists argue that methane—the gas emitted by cows—is more dangerous than carbon dioxide, trapping up to 28 times more heat.

It’s simply impossible to move forward on the GND agenda without a drastic impact on cattle-intensive industries like beef and dairy.

And so Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) has legislation targeting concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) for the alleged damage they are doing to the climate.  “I want to talk about the impact that CAFOs have on the environment and what we can do to mitigate it,” said Blumenauer. “We shouldn’t be incentivizing them through programs like the Environmental Quality Incentives Program; we should be forcing them to pay for the damage they cause to the environment and public health.”

Eric Holt-Gimenez says the problem is “industrial overproduction of food—the root cause of agricultural pollution, food waste and greenhouse gas emissions.”  To discourage over-production, he suggests a “guaranteed minimum price for farmers,” essentially an agricultural minimum wage paid by consumers to prop up inefficient, smaller farming operations.

And New Jersey Senator Cory Booker—a #GreenNewDeal supporter and candidate for president– stated flatly that the “devastating impact” of emissions from the meat industry must end.

“The tragic reality is this planet simply can’t sustain billions of people consuming industrially produced animal agriculture because of environmental impact,” Booker, a vegan, told VegNews magazine. “It’s just not possible.”

The media are downplaying the potential impact on the agricultural sector from the Democrats’ newest policy initiative, accusing Republicans of exaggerating the case or conflating idealistic goals with realistic policies. But ranchers and farmers have gotten the message.

“You may think the #GreenNewDeal is some far out nutcase dream, but if you’re involved in agriculture you’d better view it as a threat to your entire way of life,” Texas rancher Casey Kimbrell tweeted.

Sara Place of the National Cattleman’s Beef Association says the Green New Deal “highlights the large divide between people that are interacting with the environment and growing food every day, and those that are concerned about environmental issues, but ignorant.”

And Kansas cattle rancher Brandi Buzzard Frobose has written an open letter to Rep. Ocasio-Cortez explaining that American ranches  “are producing beef in the United States more sustainably and efficiently than ever before – did you know that the U.S. produces nearly 20% of the world’s beef with only 9% of the world’s cattle?

“I beseech you to please have a conversation with your constituents and colleagues that have an agriculture background,” Frobose writes. “Cows are not the problem.”

But Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, who represents Queens, New York, doesn’t have a lot of “constituents with an agricultural background.” Neither do many of the congressional co-sponsors of the GND who are from urban districts, like Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Boston and Ted Lieu of Los Angeles.  Ag jobs just aren’t a key part of their constituency.

For the Democrats running for president, however, the math is very different.  Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina all have significant agricultural interests.  According to Katie Olthoff of the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, Iowa has the seventh largest inventory of cattle in the U.S. and “more feed yards than any other state.”

“We have a lot of relatively small ‘feeder farmers,’ as we call them,” Olthoff says, as opposed to the larger operations environmentalists tend to focus on.

At the Iowa State Dairy Association website, board president Larry Shover quotes a study reporting that Iowa’s 1,200 dairies – and 213,000 dairy cows—have an economic impact of over $4 billion dollars per year.

In New Hampshire, dairy products are a $50 million market and the single largest agricultural commodity in the state.  The dairy tradition is such an embedded part of the Granite State’s story that the industry promotes the “Ice Cream Trail” featuring local dairies and shops from Nashua up to the Great North Woods.

And the official state beverage of South Carolina?  Milk.

Still, virtually every nationally-known 2020 Democratic candidate has endorsed the #GreenNewDeal.  That’s going to present some interesting political calculations for Democrats in a 10-way  (or 15 or even 20-way?) race for their party’s nomination.

Even if the number of farmers in these early states is relatively small (fewer than 2 percent of Americans actually work on a farm), their effects on the economy are felt much more broadly. In addition, as support for the ethanol subsidy in Iowa over the decades shows, many voters have an emotional connection with their state’s farmers that gives their issues an outsized political impact.

“Iowa’s farms are family farms,  and so when Washington talks about America ‘getting out of the cattle business,’ it’s not just a job. It’s a family,” Olthoff told InsideSources.

“About 10 years ago, my husband and I made a huge investment in order to farm years ago. Our dream was to be able to raise our kids on a farm, to live in rural Iowa, to live this lifestyle. When I hear about proposals and regulations that threaten us, I do get emotional,” Olthoff said.

“This isn’t about shutting down an industry. It’s about a way of life.”

Big-Name 2020 Dems Support the ‘Green New Deal,’ but Big-Name Enviro Groups Don’t

NY Senator and 2020 POTUS candidate Kirsten Gillibrand has joined the chorus of high-profile Democrats announcing their support for the “Green New Deal,” an aggressive (and expensive) proposal to de-carbonize America’s economy.

“The way I see a green economy is this: I think we need a moonshot. We need to tell the American people ‘we are going to have a green economy in the next 10 years, not because it’s easy, but because it’s hard, because it’s a measure of our innovation and effectiveness,’ ” she said on the liberal “Pod Save America” podcast this week.  Her spokesperson told reporters on Tuesday that this is merely a reaffirmation on her previously-held position.

“Senator Gillibrand supports the Green New Deal concept and has been working for years on policies to aggressively combat climate change, protect our environment and create a green economy in communities that have often been left behind,” Gillibrand spokeswoman Whitney Brennan said.

But while Gillibrand, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Beto O’Rourke support the Green New Deal, some other big names are holding out:

The Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Environmental Defense Fund, and the Audubon Society.

When more than 600 green activist groups joined together to send out a letter demanding public officials support the Green New Deal, six of the largest and most respected environmental organizations declined. And according to the New Republic, “Two green groups founded by deep-pocketed Democratic celebrities are also absent: Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project and Tom Steyer’s NextGen America.”

Why would establishment environmentalists like the Sierra Club and more radical actors like Tom Steyer decline to support a cause embraced by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez?

“Speaking on background some said the letter did not allow for enough flexibility on the details of a Green New Deal,” the New Republic reports.  They objected to requiring signatories to oppose market-based mechanisms and technology options such as carbon and emissions trading and offsets, carbon capture and storage, nuclear power, waste-to-energy and biomass energy.”

And then there’s the cost. While no definitive numbers exist, one estimate puts the cost of building the electrical generation capacity required alone at $2 trillion. And that doesn’t include the trillions in costs from mandating an end to all gas-powered vehicles, ending all oil exports and entirely shutting down America’s oil, gas and coal production.

In other words, the extremism of the Green New Deal is a step too far even for Al Gore. And, perhaps, Sen. Kamala Harris.

Despite calls from green activists like the Sunrise Movement–famous for organizing protests outside Speaker Pelosi’s office on the first day of the new Congress– the California senator has thus far declined to fully endorse the GND.



Harris’s spokesperson says the Senator is on board for the “goals of the Green New Deal,” but that doesn’t appear to be enough for the green movement in general.

“Having presidential candidates say they are supportive of the concept of doing something like the Green New Deal is amazing, but it’s not sufficient,” Saikat Chakrabarti, chief of staff to freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., told the Washington Examiner.