Democrats push for a Green New Deal to combat climate change

Pat Wise
February 8, 2019

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez explained Thursday why she had not been named on the House's new select committee on climate change by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, stressing it was not a "snub", but rather that she turned down an offer for a position. Ed Markey of MA on the policy, which aims to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in 10 years and create thousands of jobs in renewable energy.

At least a half dozen Democratic 2020 presidential hopefuls have said they would adopt Green New Deal policies, without offering specifics. The most visible House Democrat on climate change won't get a seat on Nancy Pelosi's select committee addressing the issue. The new panel does not include Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of NY, who is calling for a Green New Deal to transform the US economy to combat climate change. The flub came a day before Ocasio-Cortez and Massachusetts Democratic Sen.

Pelosi welcomed the introduction of the resolution Thursday but told reporters during her weekly press conference that she had not read it yet. "And so that's really what we're trying to accomplish with the Green New Deal".

Which is to say: the Green New Deal framework combines big climate-change-related ideas with a wish list of progressive economic proposals that, taken together, would touch almost every American and overhaul the economy. She appealed to some of the more progressive members with her speech after retaking the speaker's gavel, saying "we must also face the existential threat of our time: the climate crisis".

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez greets Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi before a ceremonial swearing-in picture on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., January 3, 2019.

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The Green New Deal would be paid for 'the same way we paid for the original New Deal, World War II, the bank bailouts, tax cuts for the rich and decades of war - with public money appropriated by Congress, ' Ocasio-Cortez said. The Democrats' plan envisions shifting away from fossil fuels and other sources of emissions that cause global warming within 10 years. Suzanne Bonamici of Oregon, Julia Brownley, Jared Huffman and Mike Levin of California, Sean Casten of Illinois, Donald McEachin of Virginia and Joe Neguse of Colorado.

The plan, which takes the form of a non-binding congressional resolution, outlines some of the most aggressive climate goals ever put forward by Democratic lawmakers and clashes dramatically with the Trump administration's efforts to advance domestic oil, gas and coal production by rolling back environmental protections.

The Green New Deal goes far beyond the Clean Power Plan proposed by President Barack Obama.

"We. need to be sure that workers now employed in fossil fuel industries have higher-wage and better jobs available to them to be able to make this transition, and a federal jobs guarantee ensures that no worker is left behind", according to a summary of the plan.

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