The right way to reduce carbon emissions

Has the environmental movement in America completely lost its mind? There aren’t enough words to describe the flaws, the absurdity, the scariness of the socialist Green New Deal made famous by Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezLawmakers 'failed us' says ICE chief Pelosi, Democratic leaders seek to quell liberal revolt over border bill Bronx restaurants thank Ocasio-Cortez for her endorsements MORE. Sadly, this Green “Raw” Deal is just one of many troubling moves by environmentalists who think nothing of placing the economic wellbeing of millions of Americans in jeopardy.

The myopic “350.org” movement routinely targets America’s oil and natural gas producers, calling on large corporations, city and state-run pension funds, and non-profit organizations to sell their holdings in profitable energy companies. Radical environmentalists attempt to convince us of some obligation to turn our backs on fossil fuels and rush head-first into “green” energy promises that don’t amount to 10% of our present-day energy grid and would easily double, even triple the costs of providing energy to U.S. households.

AOC’s Green New Deal has an estimated price tag of $93 trillion, and guess who is on the hook to pay for it? Only 50% of the country actually pays federal income tax, and the other half essentially gets a free ride. That is until the energy bills start rolling in... then we all pay again!

ADVERTISEMENT

If people are serious about reducing CO2, they should invest in energy companies that use state-of-the-art technology to reduce carbon emissions. The U.S. oil and gas industry invested $90 billion on emission control technologies from 2000 to 2014, according to a report by T2 and Associates. The Energy Information Agency (EIA) estimates that U.S. energy-related carbon emissions declined by 861 million metric tons (14%) from 2005 to 2017, and today, we are leading the world in the reduction of carbon emissions.

In just one year — 2013 to 2014 — the oil and natural gas industry directly reduced emissions by the equivalent of 55.5 million metric tons of CO2 — equal to taking nearly 12 million cars off the roads. Our natural gas production is up nearly 50 percent since 2008, providing tens of thousands of jobs, stabilizing energy prices and driving CO2 emissions back to levels America has not seen since 1985.

Divesting shares in successful, profitable energy companies will only hurt businesses, universities, and millions of people who depend on retirement pension income. But radical activists ignore the financial facts and spread their divestment propaganda while staging protests in corporate board rooms and on college campuses.

Harvard University boldly pushed back on divestment activists with a practical counterpoint. President Lawrence Bacow said, “meaningful change” will only come about if, “we’re willing to work with those organizations and institutions that are responsible for the infrastructure that literally fuels our economy.” Divesting Harvard’s $40 billion endowment from fossil fuels is projected to cost between $1.4 - $7.4 billion over a 20-year term

ADVERTISEMENT

Both New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the City’s Mayor Bill De Blasio have painted themselves into the divestment corner. Last year, New York’s Common Retirement Fund with more than one million members was worth $207.4 billion. Both Cuomo and De Blasio called for the fund to divest its fossil fuel stocks. Cuomo and De Blasio apparently got a little too far over their skis as the state retirement fund falls under the authority of New York’s Comptroller, Thomas DiNapoli. DiNapoli has no desire to tank his fund’s value and punish millions of New Yorkers who rely on solid retirement benefits. “There is no evidence that divesting the Fund from owners of fossil fuel reserves would do anything to actually mitigate climate change,” said DiNapoli, pointing out that the Fund has, “earned over $4 billion” in the last decade.

Studies show if pension funds divest from fossil fuel stocks they could lose upwards of $5 trillion over a 50-year period. With unfunded public pension liabilities now exceeding $6 trillion across the nation, these ridiculous divestment antics risk further insolvency and could leave millions of pensioners needlessly exposed.

Affordable, abundant energy is now fueling the American economy. The U.S. now leads all OPEC nations in oil and natural gas production and American ingenuity and technology are revolutionizing the energy industry and many manufacturing sectors. Whether it’s calls for fossil fuel divestiture, baseless climate litigation, or hyping a socialist, Green Raw Deal, the costs to taxpayers will certainly outweigh any promised benefits. Natural gas is certainly a fuel for the future and despite absurd comments from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and others, oil and natural gas should rightly be part of our energy mix for decades to come.

Eric Bolling is a two-time New York Times best-selling author (“The Swamp” and “Wake Up America”) and host of Sinclair’s “America This Week with Eric Bolling” and “AMericA” on BlazeTV. Previously, Bolling was the largest independent crude oil and natural gas trader in the world. He was also a board member and then a strategic adviser to the New York Mercantile Exchange's Board of Directors where he spearheaded the Exchange's IPO, the largest financial IPO at the time. Follow him on Twitter @ericbolling.