Below is the video of the press conference of Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey announcing their resolution for the creation of a committee to create the plan for a Green New Deal (Thursday, February 7, 2019).
I think one of the things that confuses people about the Green New Deal is that it is meant to be a framework to ensure a rapid but also a just transition to !00% renewable energy in 12 years. The specific ways these ideas are worked out will vary from community to community. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez explains that in the video.
“I want to thank you all for being here today on this very important moment…This is an incredible moment because all of the supporters who are here today support the climate, clean energy, social justice, public health. Grassroots organizations that make up the most powerful grassroots organizing movement in the United States today. Never in our history have the interests of all Americans been so united on a single issue: climate change. From the air we breathe, to jobs that employ us, to the neighborhoods we live in, to the economy we operate within, climate change defines our existence. Global temperatures are the highest in recorded history. Wealth inequality is the highest point since the era of the Great Depression. The erosion of our coastlines, the erosion of the earning power of workers, the pollution of our planet, the pollution of our democracy by big oil and Koch brother financing. The interrelationship of these ills and injustices is undeniable. But the challenge is not insurmountable. It will only be through an historic generational commitment to end climate change, that we create the kind of democracy that works for all Americans. We will save all of creation by engaging in massive job creation in our country.
I thank you all for being here today, on this historic day.”Senator Ed Markey
“This is so incredible, this is such a major, watershed moment. And I am so incredibly excited that we are going to transition this country into the future and we are not going to be dragged behind by our past. I’m so excited by that. I think that today is not just a big day for us as a delegation, us as a party, us as a movement, but this is a big day for activists all of the country, and for front line communities all over the country.
Today is a big day for people who have been left behind. Today is a big day for workers in Appalachia. Today is a big day for children that have been breathing dirty air in the South Bronx. Today is a really good day for families who have been enduring the injustices of drinking dirty water, or who have seen their living rooms being flooded with the waves of rising sea levels. And today, I think, is a really big day for our economy, the labor movement, the social justice movement, indigenous peoples and peoples all over the United States of America.
Because today is the day that we truly embark on a comprehensive agenda of economic, social and racial justice in the United States of America. That’s what this agenda is all about. Because climate change and our environmental challenges are one of the biggest existential threats to our way of life, not just as a nation, but as a world. In order for for us to be able to combat that threat we must be as ambitious and innovative in our solutions as possible.
So what we are doing today in introducing these resolutions today is that it’s not a bill, it is a resolution. And what this Resolution is doing is saying “this is our first step. Our first step is to define the problem, and define the scope of the solution.”
And so were here to say that small, incremental policy solutions are not enough. They can be part of a solution but they are not the solution unto itself. There is no justice and there is no combating climate change without addressing what has happened to indigenous communities. That means that there is no fixing our economy without addressing the racial wealth gap. That means that we are not going to transition to renewable energies with also transitioning font line communities and coal communities into economic opportunity as well. That is what this is about.
It is comprehensive, it is thoughtful, it is compassionate, it is extremely economically strategic as well. Today is also the day that we choose to assert ourselves as a global leader in transitioning to 100% renewable energy and charting that path. That means that we are not going to peg ourselves by the lowest standards of other nations. It doesn’t mean that we’re going to say “what about them, they aren’t doing it. What about them, they’re not doing it, why should we?”
We should do it because we should lead. We should do it because that is what this nation is about. We should do it because we are a country founded on ideals, of a culture that is innovate, that cares for our brothers and sisters across this country. We should do it because we are an example to the world. That is why we should do it. And we need to save ourselves and we can save the rest of the world with us. That is why we should do it. And that is why we should do it.
And that is why we defined the scope of this resolution to be so broad and to be so comprehensive. Because we are defining the Green New Deal. And in the spirit of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, we have the Green New Deal and we have Green New Deal Projects. The Tennessee Valley Authority was a New Deal project that was part of a larger vision.
And today we are laying down what that larger vision is. So when people say what about this, what about that? the answer isn’t “this is why its not in here”, the answer is “that is part of the solution, too.” I hope you all can see this. I hope you all see the scope, the scale.
Because the solution is not going to come from just one Congresswomen from the Bronx, its not going to come from just one Senator. Its going to come from all our representatives as a county. saying this is what Iowa needs, this is what Virginia need, this is what Michigan needs, this is what Illinois needs, this is what New York needs. Because when we have this threat that challenges all of us, the solution is going to take all of us, too.
I’m so thankful. I want to reiterate my thanks to the activists and the advocacy, and the organizers who made this moment happen, and created the political energy to be relevant and to put it at the top of the agenda, not the bottom of the agenda.Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez s
“What is especially exciting about this morning is the opportunity for reform on several fronts. And I am here to say, as the senior Democrat on the committee that writes tax law in the Senate, the Senate Finance Committee, that it is my intention to work with all these good people to throw the dirty energy tax relics of yesteryear into the garbage can, and work to put clean energy front and center for a healthier future for Americans from sea to shining sea.”Senator Ron Wyden