Trump keeps inventing new details about the Green New Deal

Source: By Dino Grandoni, Washington Post • Posted: Tuesday, April 9, 2019

President Donald Trump speaks at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s annual leadership meeting on Saturday n Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

President Trump can’t stop trashing the Green New Deal.

Even though the Democratic resolution to rapidly reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions was defeated last month in the Senate, the president is still hoisting it as a punching bag when rallying his political base — and inventing new details about it.

During a speech in Las Vegas in front of the Republican Jewish Coalition, Trump insisted that the U.S. economy must be strong for Israel to be secure — and derided the Green New Deal as a “$100 trillion” boondoggle that proposes building “trains to Europe, Hawaii and Australia” and limiting people to having just “one car.”

“You know, I’m bringing so many car companies in,” Trump said. “I don’t think they’re going to be thrilled to hear that.”

The issue with those claims, which he has used before in speeches in Michigan and Maryland, is that the broad-stroke plan introduced by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) does not mention anything about rolling out transoceanic trains or scaling back the number of cars in any one person’s driveway.

The plan did call on Congress to make a nonbinding pledge to reach net-zero greenhouse-gas emissions by 2030. Many experts, including President Barack Obama’s energy secretary Ernest Moniz, have called such a rapid reduction in emissions impossible to achieve.

Yet Republicans have largely chosen to criticize the plan by embellishing what’s actually in it.

However, unlike Trump’s latest lines of attack on the Green New Deal’s effects on transportation, which seem out of the blue, many of the other GOP jabs stemmed from documents related to the plan.

When, for example, Republican Rep. Rob Bishop of Utah or Sen. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee claimed beef would be outlawed under Ocasio-Cortez’s plan, they could at least point to an erroneous fact sheet published, but later withdrawn, by the freshman lawmaker’s office.

Ocasio-Cortez’s fact sheet sought to explain a nuance of the Green New Deal’s call for a net (rather than absolute) reduction in climate-warming emissions. “We 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,” the fact sheet read.

The text of the resolution itself does not mention meat.

The “$100 trillion” figure is also a familiar line of attack. The figure likely originated from an analysis done by right-wing think tanks that implied that the high end of the total cost could be $93 trillion.

Yet the resolution, which also includes significant changes to the social safety net, didn’t come with a price tag attached. That analysis made a number of assumptions that reached beyond the text of the resolution.