Politics Ocasio-Cortez, Markey reintroduce Green New Deal resolution
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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) on Tuesday reintroduced a resolution in support of a Green New Deal.
The resolution, which would be an expression of congressional sentiment rather than a law, says that it's the government's duty to create a Green New Deal that can be accomplished through a 10-year national mobilization.
It calls for meeting the country's power demand through zero-emission energy sources and "overhauling" transportation to remove pollution through investing in zero-emission vehicles, public transit and high-speed rail.
Green New Deal set to be reintroduced by Markey and Ocasio-Cortez
The last iteration of the joint resolution was a climate protection wish list for progressives and became a prime point of attack for conservatives. This week, progressives are expanding that proposal into a broader package of plans that is likely to test where the Democratic party's ideals stand. The original proposal set an objective of the country taking on a "leading role" in helping the planet reach net-zero emissions by the year 2050. To reach that lofty goal, the plan called for the U.S. to wean itself off of fossil fuels and create high-paying green energy jobs.
"For so long, our movement towards a sustainable future has been divided with really just this false notion that we have to choose between our planet and our economy," Ocasio-Cortez said during a press conference.
"We decided to come together in sweeping legislation that not only rejects that notion, but creates a plan for 20 million union jobs in the United States of America, to rebuild our infrastructure, to restore public housing, to make sure that we expand our access not only to EV [electric vehicle] and EV infrastructure but mass transit," she added. "It is going to be an all hands on deck approach and we refuse to leave any community behind in the process."
The Green New Deal resolution, first introduced in 2019, has become a political lightning rod, as the idea has been embraced by progressives, but fiercely rejected by Republicans who have sought to paint it as extreme.
AOC says 'trampling' of 'indigenous rights' and 'racial justice' is a cause of climate change
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez faulted the rejection of "indigenous rights" and "racial justice" on Tuesday as causes of climate change. © Provided by Washington Examiner "The climate crisis is a crisis born of injustice, and it is a crisis born of the pursuit of profit at any and all human and ecological cost, which means that we must recognize in legislation that the trampling of indigenous rights is a cause of climate change," the New York Democrat said, "that the trampling of racial justice is a cause of climate change because we are allowing people and we are allowing folks to den
The reintroduction began getting GOP pushback even before it was introduced.
"The green new disaster is back," Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) said in a statement. "The Green New Deal isn't about protecting the environment. It's about massively increasing the size of government and dictating how Americans live their lives."
It's an issue where President Biden has sought to walk a fine line, calling it a "crucial framework" on the campaign trail but declining to explicitly endorse it like many of his primary rivals did.
The Green New Deal's stated goals are to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, create millions of good-paying jobs, invest in infrastructure, promote justice and equity for historically marginalized communities and secure clean air and water and resiliency to climate change.
Markey said during Tuesday's press conference that he and Ocasio-Cortez are also introducing a Civilian Climate Corps bill to put people to work and help the environment.
Biden has endorsed the idea of a Civilian Climate Corps to create jobs by conserving and restoring public lands, boosting resilience and increasing reforestation.
The lawmakers said Tuesday that they also hope to go beyond what Biden has proposed on climate.
"We are going to be calling for the highest aspirations that our country can reach," Markey said. "We want to lift the gaze to the constellation of possibilities for our country and for the world."
-Updated at 12:13 p.m.
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