Democrats propose ‘Green New Deal’ to counter climate change

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Today on ABC News, Cheyenne Haslett and John Parkinson, report on a new Democratic initiative.  Here’s the core report with a response Tweet from the GOP at the end.  Perhaps this will be the democratic bargaining point for passing of the the Southern Border Wall???:

What’s being called a “Green New Deal,” a wide-ranging effort to tackle climate change, with overtones of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s sweeping 1933 New Deal to counter the Great Depression, was unveiled by Democrats Sen. Ed Markey and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezThursday on Capitol Hill.

Ocasio-Cortez called it a “first step” in defining the problem and the “scope of the solution.”

“Today is the day that we truly embark on a comprehensive agenda of economic, social and racial justice in the United States of America,” Ocasio-Cortez said at a news conference.

“That’s what this agenda is all about. Because climate change – climate change and our environmental changes are one of the biggest existential threats to our way of life – not just as a nation but as a world.”

The wide-reaching proposal calls not just for a massive overhaul of the nation’s energy sector over the next 10 years, but also investments in the country’s education, infrastructure and health care systems and a redesign of the entire U.S. economy.

Markey, who authored the last major climate change bill to make headway in the House back in 2009, compared the Green New Deal resolution to President John F. Kennedy’s initiative to land a man on the moon.

“I say today that it is time for us to be bold once again,” he said. “We have the technology to do it. We have the moral obligation. We have the economic imperative. We just need the political will to get this done. The sun is setting on the dirty energy of the past. Today marks the dawn of a new era of climate action.”

The House resolution, being introduced Thursday, states “that a new national, social, industrial and economic mobilization on a scale not seen since World War II and the New Deal is a historic opportunity.”

The resolution is non-binding, meaning if it does get a vote and passes it wouldn’t become law, but is a way for Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Markley of Massachusetts to push for action on climate change, which they hope to make one of the Democratic Party’s top issues in the 116th Congress.

Though the Green New Deal has support from as many as 40 congressional members, including a few 2020 candidates, it lacks avenues to become law of the land — from both the Republican-controlled Senate and White House, and possibly the Democratic-controlled House.

“The question isn’t whether all Democrats can support this resolution,” Markey insisted. “It is if any Republican will support this resolution. The question should not be if we can do it. The answer should be when we will do it.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters she was “very excited” about the proposal Thursday but also played it down as just “one of several or maybe many suggestions that we receive” in an interview with Politico the day before.

Pelosi also announced Thursday that Ocasio-Cortez, despite being a key force behind the Green New Deal, would not be serving on a House Select Committee on Climate Crisis that Pelosi created — one which Ocasio-Cortez has criticized forlacking political power.

Ocasio-Cortez was invited to be on the committee, both Pelosi and Ocasio-Cortez confirmed Thursday. But Ocasio-Cortez said she wasn’t joining it because it’s an “investigative” committee and she’s preoccupied with other subcommittees she serves on. She insisted she shared common goals with Pelosi on climate change.

“They’re tackling the investigative piece, we’re tackling the legislative piece,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “So I don’t think that this is a snub. I don’t think this is anything like that.”

Markey, Ocasio-Cortez’s partner on the Green New Deal resolution, commended Pelosi as one of the biggest advocates for combating climate change. Markey served as chair of Pelosi’s select committee on climate change back in 2007, when she was first speaker of the House.

Pelosi, who experienced the political downside of pushing green legislation considered too progressive for its time — when she tried to get cap-and-trade legislation passed — explained earlier Thursday what she’s looking for in climate change legislation this congressional session: “an evidence-based, well-defined approach to how we go forward to make a difference.”

GOP Response on Twitter: “Today, Democrats introduced the “Green New Deal,” but the resolution is just a long socialist wish list that is woefully short on details. Nearly every potential 2020 Democrat presidential candidate has signed onto the “plan” or expressed support for a similar type of proposal.”

More to come…

  • 02/08/2019
  • Cheyenne Haslett and John Parkinson