Democrats Mobilize On Green New Deal

FILE - In this Jan. 19, 2019, file photo, U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, (D-New York) waves to the crowd after speaking at Women's Unity Rally in Lower Manhattan in New York. Democrats including Ocasio-Cortez of... FILE - In this Jan. 19, 2019, file photo, U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, (D-New York) waves to the crowd after speaking at Women's Unity Rally in Lower Manhattan in New York. Democrats including Ocasio-Cortez of New York and veteran Sen. Ed Markey of Mass. are calling for a Green New Deal intended to transform the U.S. economy to combat climate change and create jobs in renewable energy. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File) MORE LESS
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WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York are calling for a Green New Deal intended to transform the U.S. economy to combat climate change and create thousands of jobs in renewable energy.

The freshman lawmaker and veteran Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts are teaming up on the plan, which aims to eliminate the U.S. carbon footprint by 2030.

A joint resolution drafted by Ocasio-Cortez and Markey sets a goal to meet “100 percent of the power demand in the United States through clean, renewable and zero-emission energy sources,” including dramatic increases in wind and solar power.

A news conference at the Capitol is set for Thursday, the day they introduce the resolution.

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.

Even so, their Green New Deal goes far beyond the Clean Power Plan proposed by President Barack Obama. President Donald Trump has scrapped Obama’s plan, which imposed emissions limits on coal-fired power plants, as a job-killer.

The Democrats are likely to meet resistance to their proposal in Congress, especially in the Republican-controlled Senate. Trump, who has expressed doubts about climate change, also is likely to oppose it.

The resolution marks the first time Ocasio-Cortez and other lawmakers have attached legislative language onto 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.

Several Democratic presidential hopefuls have embraced the idea of a Green New Deal without saying exactly what it means.

Ocasio-Cortez said in a statement that the plan will create “unprecedented levels of prosperity and wealth for all while ensuring economic and environmental justice and security.” She calls for a “World War II-scale mobilization” that includes high-quality education and health care, clean air and water and safe, affordable housing.

Answering critics who call the plan unrealistic, Ocasio-Cortez says that when President John F. Kennedy wanted to go to the moon by the end of the 1960s, “people said it was impossible.” She also cites Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society and the interstate highway system begun under Dwight D. Eisenhower as examples of American know-how and capability.

While focusing on renewable energy, Ocasio-Cortez said the plan would include existing nuclear power plants but block new nuclear plants. Nuclear power does not emit greenhouse gases, which contribute to global warming.

The resolution does not include a price tag, but some Republicans predict it would cost in the trillions of dollars. They denounced the plan at House hearings on climate change on Wednesday.

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.

Government can take an equity stake in Green New Deal projects “so the public gets a return on its investment,” she said.

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Notable Replies

  1. Something about the energy in the room here that excites me. Ed Markey has a record of sincere activism. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is full of piss and vinegar. Sign me up.

  2. Hot sauce and vinegar. A real nasty woman.

  3. Avatar for ted ted says:

    Important to realize that this is not a radical plan. It’s the very least that must be done. It’s a conservative plan.

  4. Avatar for ljb860 ljb860 says:

    REPUGS, STFU, if you cared about costs as much as you preach, you would have never given trillions away to the .01%. I believe the plan as I read so far is a good start and very pragmatic. The goals such as energy becoming 100%, or as close as possible, renewable within 10 years is not that hard to envision and for sure not that hard to accomplish.

    In 2012 I built a home from materials found on site, milled my lumber for example after clearing the lot. One of the things I planned from day one was to install a solar field. At the time I was nearing 70 and was not looking forward to placing the solar on the roof as I wanted to do as much work myself as possible. I therefore contracted for an excavator to level/gravel a surface area. Much like putting together an Erector Set plan I assembled the framework and then installed the panels. I hired a retired electrician to make the final electric connections, had inspected and was running 100% off the grid within a week. Now if a 70 yo can do the work as I stated above it is not hard to believe that a New Green Deal plan to go renewable is feasible.

    I sold that home and purchased a 1956 built rancher in 2016. What did I do first, why remove all power lines connecting the grid to the home after installing solar of course. So I am once again 100% off the grid and loving every minute of the no monthly utility bills. Of the peace of mind when my neighbors power goes out, etc.

    In summary 2 solar installations. Both 100% off the grid. 1st installation had a 7 year ROI, installed 2012, payback this year… 2nd has an ROI of 5 years, nice, so a couple of more years to go. Question, why does it seem unreasonable to ask utilities such a TVA to accomplish the same.

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