Published: Thu, February 07, 2019
Economy | By

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez proposing Green New Deal to fight climate change

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez proposing Green New Deal to fight climate change

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) is set to release her much-touted Green New Deal on Thursday - a package of far-reaching, big-government proposals like health care for all, federal job guarantees and a push to eliminate US carbon emissions - but it's already receiving shade from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

"The Green New Deal fully tackles the existential threat posed by climate change by presenting a comprehensive, 10-year plan that is as big as the problem it hopes to solve while creating a new era of shared prosperity", according to a summary of the resolution, according to Reuters.

The two politicians represent a contrasts in generations and experience - Ocasio-Cortez quickly rose in progressive circles with her defeat of an entrenched incumbent previous year, and Markey has been in Congress since the 1970s - but both are strong advocates for stronger environmental laws.

The broad outline called for meeting 100 percent of USA power demand through clean and renewable energy, as well as upgrading "all existing buildings in the United States" to achieve maximum "energy efficiency, water efficiency, safety, affordability, comfort, and durability". These included establishing an accelerated shift away from fossil fuels in the economy, establishing job guarantees for all American and creating national health care coverage.

Now, as Ocasio-Cortez prepares to release a blueprint, details are emerging.

While setting lofty goals, the plan does not explicitly call for eliminating the use of fossil fuels such as oil and natural gas, a nod to pragmatism that may disappoint some of Ocasio-Cortez's strongest supporters.

However, many Democrats including a number of 2020 presidential hopefuls have expressed their support for a "Green New Deal". Some candidates in the 2020 presidential race, including Sens.

The Green New Deal proposal is named after President Franklin Roosevelt's sweeping "New Deal" economic and labor reforms during the Great Depression. On one hand, it becomes a kind of "catch-all" way to talk about the environment, jobs and economic fairness, issues at the forefront of the party's primary.

"It will be one of several or maybe many suggestions that we receive", Pelosi told Politico on Wednesday. "The green dream or whatever they call it, nobody knows what it is, but they're for it, right?" But she welcomes "the enthusiasm that is there".

In a statement to CBS News on Tuesday, Congressman Raúl Grijalva, Democrat of Arizona, confirmed that he will be supporting the resolution, after initially being reluctant to back it.

Greg Carlock, Green New Deal director of think tank Data for Progress, said lawmakers who seek middle ground policies that fall short of Green New Deal goals will lose youth support in future elections.

It also reportedly outlines the resolution's goals, including the creation of "millions of good, high-wage jobs" and the promotion of "justice and equity by preventing current and repairing historic oppression to frontline and vulnerable communities".

Most of the Democratic presidential candidates, including Senators Kirsten Gillibrand of New York; Kamala Harris of California; Elizabeth Warren of MA; and Cory Booker of New Jersey have also broadly endorsed the idea behind the Green New Deal.

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