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The Land and Water Conservation Fund Would Disappear Under the Green New Deal

Gabriella Hoffman
by Gabriella Hoffman Read Profile arrow_right_alt

The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) is set to be permanently reauthorized after Congress failed to meet its deadline last fall.

The Senate recently voted in favor to reauthorize the fund by a 92-8 vote, while the House of Representatives will deliberate it soon. It is expected to pass in that chamber, as well.

This bipartisan fund was first authorized by Congress in 1964 to protect and preserve parks, wildlife refuges, forests, open spaces, trails, and wildlife habitat sans tax payer funding. The lands managed under the purview of the program are reserved for innumerable recreational opportunities, clean water, scenic vistas, protecting critical archeological/historical sites, and leaving many wilderness areas untouched.

While permanent reauthorization is on the horizon, the fund could be put in further jeopardy by a more dangerous threat: the Green New Deal.

Right now, the plan is a non-binding resolution. The American public will soon learn where their U.S. Senators stand on the so-called “environmental” plan, much to the chagrin of Senate Democrats. They should be put on record for supporting this destructive plan, while also being held accountable if it threatens LWCF funding, which they overwhelmingly voted for just a short time ago.

Why would the LWCF be in jeopardy again? It’s funded by royalties from offshore oil and gas leasing deals on the Outer Continental Shelf that energy companies pay to the federal government. Annually, the LWCF Act authorizes this fund $900 million each year. However, only a small amount is appropriated by Congress. For every dollar invested in land acquisition through the LWCF, there is a four dollar return in economic value.

If the U.S. were to shift from reliance on natural gas, coal, gas, LNG, and other traditional energy sources to complete dependence on renewables, you could kiss this fund goodbye. Since 88 percent of the traditional economy would be wiped out by the Green New Deal’s plan to go 100 percent renewable by 2030, LWCF’s primary funding source would disappear too.

Do these elected officials seriously weigh the consequences of these destructive plans? How it’ll ironically hurt the environment? It’s highly doubtful since the plan is indefensible and the FAQ page continues to change.

What do the Green New Deal’s supporters plan to replace oil and gas royalties with? Royalties from cow farts? Royalties from renewables? Taxes collected on meat to support vegan lifestyles? Wealth they confiscate from America’s top income earners?

There’s also an inconvenient truth about shifting to full reliance on alternative energy sources like solar and wind not being discussed: it’s backed up by fossil fuels like natural gas, oil, and gasoline. Whoops. Washington Post noted this in 2016:

Because of the particular nature of clean energy sources like solar and wind, you can’t simply add them to the grid in large volumes and think that’s the end of the story. Rather, because these sources of electricity generation are “intermittent” — solar fluctuates with weather and the daily cycle, wind fluctuates with the wind — there has to be some means of continuing to provide electricity even when they go dark. And the more renewables you have, the bigger this problem can be.

Now, a new study suggests that at least so far, solving that problem has ironically involved more fossil fuels — and more particularly, installing a large number of fast-ramping natural gas plants, which can fill in quickly whenever renewable generation slips.

The LWCF should be permanently reauthorized for more Americans to enjoy the Great Outdoors. If the Green New Deal were to be implemented, both the economy and this crucial fund would be killed off.

Preservationist policies like this don’t work. Let’s hope this “New Deal” fails to make it to President Trump’s desk.


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