WASHINGTON – Environmental legislation dubbed a Green New Deal championed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has drawn widespread attention — despite the fact that no one really knows for sure what it is.
Now, as Ocasio-Cortez prepares to release a blueprint, details are emerging.
“Next week, we plan to release a resolution that outlines the scope and scale of the Green New Deal,” according to a letter the New York Democrat sent to colleagues. “In it, we call for a national, social, industrial and economic mobilization at a scale not seen since World War II.”
Goals laid out in the letter include reaching net-zero greenhouse gas emissions “through a fair and just transition for all communities and workers,” creating millions of “good, high-wage jobs” while ensuring prosperity and economic security for all, and investment in infrastructure and industry.
The resolution will also call for clean air and water, climate resiliency, healthy food, access to nature and “a sustainable environment for all for generations to come,” according to the letter. Lastly, the Green New Deal will “promote justice and equity by preventing current and repairing historic oppression to frontline and vulnerable communities.”
She said the goals will be accomplished through a 10-year plan of industrial and infrastructure projects.
So far the Green New Deal has drawn the support of more than 40 progressive lawmakers as well as Democratic 2020 presidential candidates, but has yet to elicit full-throat support from Democratic moderates including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. While the Green New Deal would certainly never pass muster with coal-state Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and President Donald Trump, some of the plan’s backers believe it’s important to show it has the blessing of the House Democrats in advance of the 2020 presidential elections.
Conservative lawmakers have seized on the plan as a product of out-of-touch liberals, with some price estimates ranging as high as $7 trillion.
“Americans deserve better than to foot the bill for the Green New Deal’s reckless, expensive, and unattainable goals,” said Oklahoma Republican Rep. Markwayne Mullin. “The Green New Deal, just like proposals for free college or Medicaid for all, is nothing but an empty promise that leaves American taxpayers on the hook.”
The House resolution has nine co-sponsors and climate champion Democratic Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts will introduce companion legislation in the Senate, according to the letter.
Markey issued a statement Monday saying he has invited Varshini Prakash, co-founder of Sunrise, a group that supports the Green New Deal, as his guest to the State of the Union on Tuesday.