Saturday, 16 February, 2019

Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal Calls for ‘Economic Transformation’ of U.S.

Reps. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and Rep. Alma Adams react at House Democrats news conferenceon Capitol Hill in Washington Ocasio-Cortez Seeks More Co-Sponsors As the Introduction of Green New Deal Legislation Approaches
Sandy Nunez | 07 February, 2019, 21:37

The resolution is the first formal attempt by lawmakers to define the scale of legislation to create large-scale government-led investments in clean energy and infrastructure to transform the USA economy.

"Whereas climate change, pollution, and environmental destruction have exacerbated systemic racial, regional, social, environmental, and economic injustices (referred to in this preamble as "systemic injustices") by disproportionately affecting indigenous communities, 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 (referred to in this preamble as "frontline and vulnerable communities")", according to the document.

After Democrats won the House majority in November, Ocasio-Cortez emerged as an outspoken advocate for combating climate change and pushed for the select committee to be focused on formulating a Green New Deal that would move the country toward 100 percent renewable electricity over the next 10 years.

Pelosi welcomed the introduction of the resolution Thursday but told reporters during her weekly press conference that she had not read it yet.

The legislation is already backed by more than 40 House Democrats, Bloomberg reports, including House Rules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern.

The broad outline called for meeting 100 percent of US power demand through clean and renewable energy, as well as upgrading "all existing buildings in the United States" to achieve maximum "energy efficiency, water efficiency, safety, affordability, comfort, and durability".

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FILE PHOTO: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) waits for a ceremonial swearing-in picture on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., January 3, 2019. "And so that's really what we're trying to accomplish with the Green New Deal".

The plan also calls for new projects to modernize USA transportation infrastructure, de-carbonize the manufacturing and agricultural sectors, make buildings and homes more energy efficient and increase land preservation.

The resolution does not lay out specific plans but calls on Congress to "create a Green New Deal", which will consist of a "10-year national mobilization" yet to be determined. In addition, it calls for universal healthcare and federal job and training guarantees.

The summary document presents more "rights" to be guaranteed: "a job with a family-sustaining wage, family and medical leave, vacations, and retirement security;" "high-quality education;" "safe, affordable, adequate housing;" and "economic security for all who are unable or unwilling to work". Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey have championed the measure. "There is also space for the government to take an equity stake in projects to get a return on investment". Some proposals have set the goal to converting the entire USA economy to renewable energy within 12 years and eliminating the carbon footprint by 2030.

Sunrise activists will turn their attention to members of Congress next week and urge them to support the resolution. The next attempt, she said, will need broader support.

Pelosi said, "I welcome the new deal and any other proposals".