Sloppy Work, Senator Ernst

Image (2) joni-ernst-the-perfect-Koch-investment-150x150.jpg for post 30888

She’s not working for Iowans, folks

Last week like many I got Senator Ernst’s latest joke of a newsletter called “Make ‘Em Squeal.” I wrote about Ernst’s latest “Squeal” here last week. Then I wrote her office and asked the obvious question – where did you come up with the cost of implementing the Green New Deal at $93 Trillion?

I am naive. I really thought I would get back some statement with someone actually taking some ballpark cost estimates and fudge it around and come up with a number.  You know, something that shows someone somewhere made some half assed effort to pretend to try to make it look legitimate.

I was so wrong. Instead I received a several paragraph email with the “$93 Trillion” tucked in about halfway down with the addition of “one estimate” I guess to legitimize those numbers.

Very, very sloppy. My first thought was that if Joni was in my daughter’s climate class I would guess she would have earned a giant “F.” Ernst’s response also screamed without saying anything that she really doesn’t care about the climate.

So here is the Ernst response to my original question which I did not save. I will follow that with my response to her and her staff.

Thank you for taking the time to contact me about climate change and the Green New Deal. It is important for me to hear from folks in Iowa on policy matters such as this.

On February 7, 2019, Senator Edward Markey (D-MA), introduced S.Res.59, a resolution expressing support for a policy proposal called the “Green New Deal.”  This resolution has been referred to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works for further consideration.

As a member of this Committee, I am committed to working with my colleagues from both sides of the aisle on an all-the-above approach to energy security. As Iowans, we are fortunate that our state is a leader in the use of renewable energy. In fact, wind generates approximately 40 percent of Iowa’s electricity, more than any other state. It is also important to make note that Iowa’s diverse energy mix is largely a result of state policies and community engagement.

Conversely, the Green New Deal sets unworkable and unrealistic goals, such as transitioning the United States to 100 percent renewable energy in 10 years, while currently only 8 percent of our electricity is generated from wind and solar. This proposal would dramatically drive up costs for every American, and would eliminate thousands of jobs in the energy sector. One estimate puts the total cost of the Green New Deal at $93 trillion. In order to cover the costs of this plan, families would have to pay as much as $65,000 annually, which is more than most Iowa households make in a year.

Like all Americans, I care about leaving this earth beautiful for future generations. We all care about clean water and air. I believe that government can take reasonable and concrete steps to protect and improve the environment. This includes encouraging the utilization of a diverse mix of energy resources and improving energy efficiency.  Feel free to contact my office with any further information and please know that I will continue to keep your views in mind as the Senate works on this issue.


Joni K. Ernst
United States Senator

My response:


I recently wrote to ask where you came up with the ridiculous cost for the Green New Deal of $93 Trillion. Your response simply stated that “One estimate puts the total cost of the Green New Deal at $93 trillion.”

Let me ask my question again. Maybe you (actually your staff, but at your direction) didn’t understand the question.

You are a United States senator, one of only a hundred. As such when you speak or write, your words carry a lot of weight. Thus when you just state a number of “$93 Trillion” we expect that you will put some effort behind verifying those numbers. 

Just saying “one estimate” without stating where that estimate came from or how it was derived is simply very lazy, sloppy work and unbecoming of one of only one hundred US senators.

The public wants to be able evaluate the reliability of such statements. Such out of the norm statements are often made only for shock value. When they are made they should be accompanied by some data justifying such an estimate.

Once again, this is sloppy, lazy work unbecoming a senator. Certainly such a response was meant to shut me up. It won’t. Why? Because climate change is simply the single most serious over riding problem humanity has. We have one planet and we are making it uninhabitable. We can’t simply move to a different neighborhood.

Your flippant response tells me you really do not care. We need people in office for whom climate change is top priority. Or perhaps you have a plan to deal with what happens when the earth becomes uninhabitable?

So, once again, what is the source of your cost for the Green New Deal and how was that cost arrived at?

And while we are at it this statement “This proposal (renewable energy) would dramatically drive up costs for every American, and would eliminate thousands of jobs in the energy sector.” This looks like another fully unsubstantiated statement. From my understanding renewables is and will create jobs.

Could you please send some substantiation for this statement also?

Thank you

About Dave Bradley

retired in West Liberty
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2 Responses to Sloppy Work, Senator Ernst

  1. Janna Swanson says:

    How about this? MidAmerican Energy has admitted that they will receive $10 Billion in tax credits, enough to pay all the capital costs of building their 2500 industrial wind turbines. That is roughly $4,000,000 per turbine just in tax credits. If that money follows and we have 57,000 wind turbines at last count, it means we have spent $228,000,000,000 on wind energy alone in the US (and that is only the direct tax credits) Industrial wind provides 2% of the US’s energy according to the US Energy Information Administration. Let’s say we increased turbines tenfold, bringing us to a mere 20% of our energy. Now we are at $2,280,000,000,000 or 2 and 1/4 trillion. We are only even talking tax credits here, only electricity and not the retrofit that would have to happen to transition much of the world that does use electricity to electricity. Also there is absolutely NO way that manufacturing a bunch of stuff is going to bring emissions down. Industrial wind has only lowered CO2 emissions by less than 1% globally. I get there with the numbers of AWEA and the Carbon Project.


    • Dave Bradley says:

      Well. Thank you, but you may want to send it on to Senator Ernst. She is the one who posted the outrageous costs with no substantiation for those costs. She will probably welcome your input and analysis.
      My complaint was not only about the numbers but her speaking from a place of authority and using her bully pulpit to shock and scare the public while having no substantiation for her meant-to-shock numbers. Basically, for a senator, that is very sloppy work.

      I would also think that a fair assessment would include not just the costs, but the paybacks. One payback immediately would be a better environment and hopefully staving off mass extinction.
      Another payback would be improved health. Those two need to be figured in along with potential jobs gains and losses, wage gains and losses. To keep this short the whole concept of a massive change to greener, renewable energy is much more complex than the senator’s dismissive “Make ‘Em Squeal” letter designed to stoke fear of change.


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