The New York Times has reported that congressional democrats have announced their pursuit for a “Green New Deal.” they intend to redefine the climate change debate by calling for the U.S. to eliminate additional carbon emissions by 2030.
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Edward J. Markey drafted the measure to answer the party demand for a strategy to fight climate change, create jobs, and offer a response to the challenge to Trump’s core party values.
Republicans have derided the resolution for being more ambitious than it is detailed. Speaker Nancy Pelosi does not plan to bring it to the floor for a vote, according to a Democratic leadership aide. Its legislative prospects are clearly not good.
The resolution includes a 10-year commitment to convert “100 percent of the power demand in the United States” to “clean, renewable and zero-emission energy sources,” to upgrade “all existing buildings” to meet energy efficiency requirements, and to expand a high-speed rail that would cause most air travel to become obsolete.
The initiative, according to the authors, could create millions of new “green jobs” and guarantee health care, “a family-sustaining wage, adequate family and medical leave, paid vacations and retirement security” to all Americans.
“Climate change and our environmental challenges are the biggest existential threats to our way of life,” Ocasio-Cortez said on Thursday. “We must be as ambitious and innovative in our solutions as possible.”
Markey added, “We will save all of creation by engaging in massive job creation.”
In its current form the resolution won’t advance, but some of the ideas in it "could become a part of more modest legislation to address the climate crisis."
Ms. Pelosi countered the authors of the resolution by naming Democrats to lead a new special committee on climate change. She left off Ocasio-Cortez, the chief architect of the Green New Deal.
“Frankly, I haven’t seen it,” the speaker told reporters when asked about the proposal. “But I do know it is enthusiastic, and we welcome all the enthusiasm that is out there.”
Republicans say that the resolution is absurd.
“The socialist Democrats are off to a great start with the rollout of their ridiculous Green New Deal today!” said Bob Salera, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee. He also called the idea “zany.”
The resolution also includes social justice goals. It aims to “promote justice and equity by stopping current, preventing future and repairing historic oppression of indigenous peoples, communities of color, migrant communities, deindustrialized communities, depopulated rural communities, the poor, low-income workers, women, the elderly, the unhoused, people with disabilities and youth.”
Sixty members of the House and nine senators are co-sponsoring the resolution.