University Students FAIL Green New Deal Understanding

University Students FAIL Green New Deal Understanding

March 4, 2020

Yesterday, Power The Future Alaska State Director Rick Whitbeck guest-lectured at the University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA). Whitbeck’s lectures focused on the importance of energy and resource development projects to the economy, as well as the massive impact of those projects on Alaska’s job market. As such, the Green New Deal (GND), a policy proposal that would ban fracking, was a major topic of discussion.

It is important for students at UAA, particularly those studying business, to understand the energy industry’s impact on Alaska. Nearly half of all full-time, private-sector jobs in Alaska are either directly or indirectly tied to energy and development industries. There’s no doubt that this industry is the state’s economic engine, and the GND threatens that industry and, therefore, the state’s economic well-being.

Unfortunately, a vast majority of the students were not familiar with the GND at all. The lectures included about 150 students – vastly ranging in age and background – and only six of the students were able to speak to the GND with confidence. This is particularly interesting considering the amount of national, local, and social coverage that the policy proposal often gets, but it was largely disheartening considering the way such a massive proposal would change the day-to-day lives of so many Alaskans.

But, that’s exactly why Whitbeck’s lecture was so valuable. Power The Future talks a great deal about the devastating effects of the GND on both Alaskans and all Americans, especially those currently employed in the energy sector. A recent joint study with the Competitive Enterprise Institute outlines what this proposal would cost an average household. The study focused on 11 states and concluded that, in these states, the GND would cost a typical household an average of $75,000 in the first year of implementation and $40,000 extra every year after.

Power The Future will continue to advance its message regarding the importance of energy workers to communities across Alaska, and plans to increase its outreach to students at every possible opportunity. There is a significant amount of evidence demonstrating the significant damage that the GND would cause Alaska and all of America’s economy. If UAA’s students are any indication, there is an important knowledge gap regarding this information that must be filled, and Power The Future is committed to doing so.