A resolution for a Green New Deal was introduced in the House today by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Senator Ed Markey in the U.S. Senate. It had been hoped that a Select Committee on a New Green Deal would be created as the new Congress was getting organized. Unfortunately the Democratic leadership decided instead to organize a committee on climate change without much of a vision and no power to introduce legislation. It appeared a number of people in the Democratic leadership were were alarmed at the either the scope of the New Green Deal, or didn’t think new members should wield so much power, so soon.
Led by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Senator Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts, the proposal does not set a date for eliminating of phasing out fossil fuels. It does call for generating 100 percent of electricity through renewable sources like wind and solar in the next 10 years, eliminating greenhouse emissions in manufacturing and forestry “as much as is technologically feasible,” and re-engineering cars and trucks to end climate pollution.
The measure also includes social justice goals not usually attached to antipollution plans, like eradicating poverty by creating high-paid jobs.
It also aims to “promote justice and equity by stopping current, preventing future, and repairing historic oppression of indigenous peoples, communities of color, migrant communities, deindustrialized communities, depopulated rural communities, the poor, low-income workers, women, the elderly, the unhoused, people with disabilities, and youth.”
Sixty members of the House and nine senators are co-sponsoring the resolution, including several presidential candidates, according to a fact sheet provided by Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s office.
Democrats Formally Call for a Green New Deal, Giving Substance to a Rallying Cry by Lisa Friedman, New York Times, 2/7/2019
Following is an interview of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez about the New Green Deal on NPR today.
This message is going out to every organization who backed the fight for a Select Committee on a Green New Deal in November and December. While the Select Committee didn’t match our ambitions, AOC is coming back today stronger than ever with an official House resolution on a Green New Deal! Ed Markey is introducing a parallel version in the Senate.William Lawrence, Sunrise Movement
Like November’s resolution for a select committee on a Green New Deal, this resolution calls for:
• 100% clean and renewable energy by 2030
• a guaranteed living-wage job for anybody who needs one
• a just transition for both workers and frontline communities
This is the most ambitious climate plan and perhaps the most ambitious economic justice reform to come before the US Congress in my lifetime, and it’s arriving at just the right time. In 2019, we can use this resolution to push all Congresspeople, Congressional candidates, and Presidential candidates to take a stand on the Green New Deal, so we can defeat the opposition in 2020, and pass a Green New Deal in 2021.
I hope you’ll join Sunrise Movement and hundreds of other groups in backing this resolution and pushing all Congresspeople to do the same. Sign-on here!
The resolution has already been backed by an impressive list of groups from across the progressive landscape, including the Center for Popular Democracy, People’s Action, Sierra Club, Justice First, Indivisible, Honor the Earth, SEIU 32BJ, NextGen America, Avaaz, and many more. We’re thrilled to see a coalition coming together that represents workers’ rights, racial, environmental, and economic justice, because the Green New Deal is more than just a climate plan — it’s a vision of progressive governance for and by the people. Stopping climate change will not happen without transformative change in our economy, our society, and our democracy. Truly, our fights are bound up together.
I also want to make clear that, in Sunrise Movement’s view, the resolution is primarily an organizing tool, and should be seen as a starting place rather than the final destination on policy. Some people have expressed concern that there is not explicit enough language about fossil fuels, and plenty of other things need to be expanded beyond the level of specificity than is possible in a 5-page resolution. We share a commitment to fill these gaps and are confident that they can be addressed over the next two years before our window of opportunity to pass GND legislation in 2021. Sunrise has not and will not play a leading role in policy development (we gotta focus on organizing!), but we want to engage in the conversation whenever possible, protect the massive ambition in this resolution, and expand it where needed.