What the Green New Deal can mean for local business, residents

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Politicians at the nation's capital are split on the Green New Deal, which aims to have the United States emit net-zero greenhouse gas emissions with renewable energy within ten years.

Both Republicans and some Democrats have said the deal is too ambitious, but Richard Crisler, owner, and director of SunDay Solar, a solar energy provider in Charlottesville, said ambition should not stop the country from progress.

"Whether it's a realistic goal or not, goals get us moving in the right direction," said Crisler.

He said if the Green New Deal were to be voted on and passed, it would not only help his business, it could provide jobs across the United States.

"It's an American industry, that's going to employ American people, to do work in America, and that's really something that's really needed," said Crisler.

Crisler said the deal, which was introduced by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey, would allow America to take advantage of a booming global industry within solar energy alone.

"Year after year, the industry grows approximately 40 percent, and there's no other industry that can match that level of growth," he said.

However, the Consumer Energy Alliance said it could cost Americans up to $244 billion. Vice president of state affairs for CEA, Brydon Ross, said that number only covers the cost for Americans to switch out their appliances from natural gas to electric.

"A PR slogan doesn't keep the lights on," said Ross. "It doesn't provide affordable reliable energy, and that's what folks across the country need. While we transition to a cleaner future that people want, we got to be realistic about the timetables and the ability to do that within the windows of federal policy and the limits of what our policy can do."

Crisler said he understands the financial mountain the U.S. would have to climb, but he believes the business would eventually make up for it.

"Solar isn't necessarily a get-rich-quick plan," said Crisler. "It's really something that pays dividends over time."

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Senate will vote on the Green New Deal at the end of March.

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