Story at a glance
- On Tuesday, Sen. Markey and Rep. Ocasio-Cortez reintroduced the Green New Deal.
- Both lawmakers say decarbonizing the economy will yield healthier communities and create millions of jobs.
- Republican challengers continue to oppose the legislation.
On Tuesday, Democrats Sen. Edward Markey (Mass.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.) reintroduced the Green New Deal.
The resolution was first put forth in 2019. Despite strong co-sponsorship, it failed to move past the U.S. House of Representatives.
It is currently referred to the subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources.
Hallmark features include overhauling U.S. infrastructure to place the country on a path to net-zero emissions. Reducing carbon emissions through sustainable transportation as well as investing in wind and solar energy are also included as a means to create high-paying jobs that support a sustainable economy.
During the press conference, Ocasio-Cortez estimated roughly 20 million positions associated with sustainable development would be created.
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The legislators also introduced the Civilian Climate Corps for Jobs and Justice Act (CCC), alongside the Green New Deal. This was included in Biden’s American Jobs Plan.
“The CCC would put 1.5 million young people to work strengthening our communities and preserving our lands – doing everything from remediating blight and maintaining trails to creating entirely new green spaces,” Ocasio-Cortez said in a press release.
During a press conference, she continued to describe the racial justice component that the Green New Deal would encompass, including expanding access to public transportation and rejuvenating communities disproportionately affected by climate change, namely Flint, Mich.; Baltimore; and the South Bronx, in New York.
“The climate crisis is a crisis born of injustice and it is a crisis born of the pursuit of profit at any and all human and ecological cost,” she said.
The reintroduction of the resolution, complete with 103 co-sponsors, comes weeks after President Biden unveiled his sweeping infrastructure plan that aims to decarbonize the U.S. economy by 2030.
“To combat the interlocking crises of the moment—climate change, racial injustice, a global pandemic, and income inequality—our government has an opportunity to equitably reimagine an idea from the past and tailor it to meet the present and the future,” Markey said. “Rebuilding and strengthening our neighborhoods—especially those that have been devastated by climate change and racist housing and health care policies—and supporting our labor force must be our highest priority in the months and years to come.”
GOP legislators broadly continue to oppose the Green New Deal and other sustainable infrastructure plans. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) spoke on Fox News, calling it “a serious mistake,” claiming it will place a burden on taxpayers.
“I think this is a serious mistake,” he said. “I think it is bad for the economy, I think it destroys jobs, and we’re going to see unfortunately a lot more of it from Biden and Schumer and Pelosi.”
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