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home : news : national news free February 22, 2019

2/7/2019 12:31:00 PM
Climate change: Democrats seek Green New Deal

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 is teaming up with veteran Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts on the plan, which aims to eliminate the U.S. carbon footprint by 2030.

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

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., tweeted Thursday that she was proud to join Ocasio-Cortez and Markey “on a (hash)GreenNewDeal resolution to fight for our planet and our kids’ futures.”

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 was set for later Thursday as the lawmakers introduce the nonbinding 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 announcement of the Green New Deal came as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tapped eight Democrats to serve on a special committee to address climate change. Ocasio-Cortez was not among those named to the panel, which is chaired by Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Fla. Pelosi said she invited Ocasio-Cortez to join the panel but she declined.  

Pelosi said Thursday she hadn’t seen the Green New Deal proposal but welcomes “the enthusiasm” of its backers.

“I welcome the Green New Deal and any other proposals” to address climate change, Pelosi said. She said she also wants to hear from the new climate committee, which she said will “spearhead Democrats’ work” on climate issues.

The resolution introduced today 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.





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