AOC Unveils 'Green New Deal,' and Pelosi Isn't Wowed

Resolution aims to make the US run fully on renewable energy
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 7, 2019 12:14 PM CST
AOC Unveils Her 'Green New Deal'
In this Jan. 19, 2019, file photo, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York, waves to the crowd after speaking at Women's Unity Rally in Lower Manhattan.   (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)

The Green New Deal is here. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez unveiled a resolution on Thursday that would give the US a blueprint on how to wean itself from fossil fuels and remake the American economy in the process. Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts is introducing a companion proposal in the Senate. As NPR explains, this is a nonbinding resolution, which means it would not create laws—instead, it urges "10-year mobilizations" for a series of ambitious goals.

  • The resolution: Read it here. You can read a blog post FAQ here.
  • 2 big goals: The resolution calls for "meeting 100% of the power demand in the United States through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources." It also seeks to protect Americans whose jobs are at risk during this transition, particularly the poor; the resolution calls for a guaranteed job "with a family-sustaining wage, adequate family and medical leave, paid vacations and retirement security" for all Americans.
  • Throwing shade: Nancy Pelosi sounded a little dismissive in this quote to Politico, saying that the "green dream or whatever they call it" will be just one of several proposals on climate change the House will consider. In fact, Pelosi picked eight Democrats to serve on a special committee on the issue Thursday, and AOC was not among them, notes the AP.

  • GOP reaction: GOP Rep. Doug Lamborn of Colorado likened the Green New Deal to a "Soviet five-year plan," per Reuters. Republicans deride the plan as unrealistic and way too heavy-handed.
  • Answering critics: "Even the solutions that we have considered big and bold are nowhere near the scale of the actual problem that climate change presents to us," AOC tells NPR. "It could be part of a larger solution, but no one has actually scoped out what that larger solution would entail. And so that's really what we're trying to accomplish with the Green New Deal."
  • The cost: The resolution is "long on ambition, but lacking in details," writes Ben Geman at Axios. Notably, it does not include a projected cost for all this or take a position on whether a carbon tax is needed.
  • Litmus test: It's not clear whether the resolution will even pass in the House. "But there’s something larger at work here," writes Ella Nilsen at Vox. "The Green New Deal is fundamentally about making climate change a central Democratic priority in 2020—without shoving aside health care and the economy. After years of this globally important issue languishing on the national agenda, it has come roaring back."
  • A monetary theory: To pay for her proposals on the environment and other matters, AOC backs something called "modern monetary theory," which makes the case that deficits aren't bad things. She talks about it in an interview with Business Insider.
(More Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stories.)

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