Democrats Seek Green New Deal to Address Climate Change 7 February 2019

Democrats Seek Green New Deal to Address Climate Change 7 February 2019

With a whiff of presidential politics and a rock-star freshman in attendance, Democrats drew an unusually large crowd for the Green New Deal unveiling.

The details left us wondering who wrote this? "And so that's really what we're trying to accomplish with the Green New Deal". The Green New Deal (GND) wants to transition the U.S. to "100% clean and renewable energy" while guaranteeing jobs with a family-sustaining wage, family and medical leave, vacations, and retirement security and free higher education, healthy food, healthcare, "adequate housing", and economic security "for all who are unable or unwilling to work", among other things.

Florida Rep. Kathy Castor will chair the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis.

In any event, by putting forth an ambitious plan, AOC, as she's known, and Markey are forcing a serious discussion - and that's overdue.

"I welcome the Green New Deal and any other proposals" to address climate change, Pelosi said.

Pelosi's reluctance to offer a full-throated endorsement of the Green New Deal makes a certain amount of political sense; for every progressive congressperson like Ocasio-Cortez, there are also more moderate Democrats who need to hold their seats in districts that voted for President Donald Trump or, at the very least, could conceivably flip to Republican in the next election cycle. Pelosi said she invited Ocasio-Cortez to join the panel but she declined.

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 backers.

The resolution being introduced Thursday marks the first time Ocasio-Cortez and other lawmakers have attached legislative language to the Green New Deal, a concept that until now has been largely undefined other than as a call for urgent action to head off catastrophic climate change and create jobs.

Even so, their Green New Deal goes far beyond the Clean Power Plan proposed by President Barack Obama.

"It will be one of several or maybe many suggestions that we receive", Pelosi said.

The Democrats are likely to meet resistance to their proposal in Congress, especially in the Republican-controlled Senate.

They include "net-zero greenhouse gas emissions through a fair and just transition for all communities and workers"; job creation; infrastructure investment; guarantees of clean water, healthy food and sustainable environment; and a curiously undefined "access to nature".

MSNBC host Rachel Maddow asked Ocasio-Cortez to respond to a primetime address President Donald Trump gave last month about the situation at the USA southern border, prompting her to castigate the president for requesting funding for ICE.

While focusing on renewable energy, Ocasio-Cortez said the plan would include existing nuclear power plants but block new nuclear plants.

The Green New Deal proposal is named after President Franklin Roosevelt's sweeping "New Deal" economic and labor reforms during the Great Depression.

Ocasio-Cortez also expressed such hope during her Green New Deal press conference Thursday.

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