Ocasio-Cortez unveils Green New Deal climate resolution

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezObamas' first Netflix project nominated for Critics' Choice Documentary Awards Sanders wishes Ocasio-Cortez happy birthday Democrat launches primary challenge to Ocasio-Cortez MORE (D-N.Y.) on Thursday introduced a new climate change resolution with aims to bring the progressive Green New Deal to life legislatively and push the U.S. to take a lead role in reducing carbon emissions through the economy.

The proposal, titled “Recognizing the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal,” has a goal of creating millions of “good, high-wage jobs” by striving for net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. Sen. Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyDemocrats urge Rick Perry not to roll back lightbulb efficiency rules Ocasio-Cortez taps supporters for donations as former primary opponent pitches for Kennedy Rep. Joe Kennedy has history on his side in Senate bid MORE (D-Mass.) is introducing a companion proposal in the upper chamber.

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The legislation offers a natural transition for Ocasio-Cortez, who before even formally entering office championed the idea of a Green New Deal as the basis for creating a special committee on climate change.

Engaging in a sit-in at Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiPelosi says Trump sanctions package on Turkey 'falls very short' Graham throws support behind Trump's Turkey sanctions Feehery: Trump may be down, but he's not out yet MORE’s (D-Calif.) office with members of the youth climate advocates the Sunrise Movement, Ocasio-Cortez pushed to make climate change a main focus of the Democratic Party as they took back control of the House.

Her proposed special committee was ultimately rejected by Democratic leaders, who opted instead for a panel on climate crisis that lacks legislative and subpoena power. Pelosi Thursday announced the names of eight members of Congress who will sit on that panel. Ocasio-Cortez is not one of them.

The resolution aims to continue the tenants of that committee, priming congressional leaders to accept the dire climate situation as laid out in this November’s United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report that the world has 12 years to reverse emissions trends in order to thwart irreversible global warming.

“Whereas, because the United States has historically been responsible for a disproportionate amount of greenhouse gas emissions, having emitted 20 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions through 2014, and has a high technological capacity, the United States must take a leading role in reducing emissions through economic transformation,” the resolution reads.

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The proposal says that accomplishing the plan would take a 10 year “national mobilization” and would include resilience building, a 100 percent renewable-energy driven power grid, updating “smart” power grids and increasing building energy efficiency. Buried in the resolution is also a commitment that all future infrastructure bills would specifically address climate change.

The text also calls for a long wish list for Ocasio-Cortez, including seeking environmental changes not directly related to climate change such as supporting family farming, guaranteeing universal access to clean drinking water and investments in high-speed railroads.

“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, to our country, to the world,” Ocasio-Cortez said in an interview on NPR on Thursday.

“This is really about providing justice for communities and just transitions for communities. So, really the heart of the Green New Deal is about social justice.”

In a statement released Thursday, Varshini Pakash, founder and executive director of the Sunrise Movement, said, “Young people put the Green New Deal on the national agenda. The historic support for this resolution, especially among 2020 contenders, shows how far the movement has shifted the political conversation.”

The proposal has been met in some instances with scorn from people on the right, who criticize it as a radical pipe dream rather than an achievable climate goal. 

While a number of 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls, from Sen. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Gillibrand2020 Presidential Candidates Krystal Ball: Yang campaign a 'triumph of substance over the theatre' Three 2020 candidates have missed about half of Senate votes MORE (D-N.Y.) to Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerHillicon Valley: Warren takes on Facebook over political ads | Zuckerberg defends meetings with conservatives | Civil liberties groups sound alarm over online extremism bill O'Rourke hits back at Buttigieg over criticism of his gun buyback proposal Progressives fume at Buttigieg, warn him not to attack Warren at debate MORE (D-N.J.), have openly embraced “the concept” of the Green New Deal, they too at times have been reserved in what components of the massive undertaking they are getting behind.

The proposal comes a day after two congressional hearings Wednesday focused on addressing climate change. The hearings in the House Natural Resources and the Energy and Commerce committees were the first on the topic in nine and six years, respectively, and Democratic leadership has vowed to make the issue of curbing greenhouse gas emissions front and center in their new majority.

While many Republicans on the committees said they would try to work with Democrats to find common ground on the issue, at least one lawmaker, Rep. John ShimkusJohn Mondy ShimkusSyria says it won't resume talks with US-backed Kurdish forces amid Turkish onslaught GOP lawmaker after Syria decision: 'Pull my name off the "I support Donald Trump" list' Here are the lawmakers who aren't seeking reelection in 2020 MORE (R-Ill.), called the proposal “radical.”

“We should be open to the fact that wealth transfer schemes suggested in the radical policies like the Green New Deal may not be the best path to community prosperity and preparedness,” Shimkus said.

According to The Washington Post, Gillibrand and Booker will sponsor the plan along with other 2020 hopefuls Sens. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisO'Rourke hits back at Buttigieg over criticism of his gun buyback proposal Warren leads Democratic field by 3 points in new national poll Analysis: Warren and Booker most cyber-aware 2020 candidates MORE (D-Calif.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenSupport drops for Medicare for All but increases for public option Hillicon Valley: Warren takes on Facebook over political ads | Zuckerberg defends meetings with conservatives | Civil liberties groups sound alarm over online extremism bill Feehery: Trump may be down, but he's not out yet MORE (D-Mass.).

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSupport drops for Medicare for All but increases for public option Hillicon Valley: Warren takes on Facebook over political ads | Zuckerberg defends meetings with conservatives | Civil liberties groups sound alarm over online extremism bill On The Money: Trump touts China trade deal | Wall Street, Washington see signs for caution | Trump threatens sanctions on Turkey | Sanders proposes sharp hike to corporate taxes MORE (I-Vt.), who is also considering a run for the White House, will also back the plan.  

Co-sponsors of the bill in the House include Reps. Ro KhannaRohit (Ro) KhannaCongress set for showdown with Trump over Kurds Is Congress too afraid to fight Big Pharma? Democrats probing whether groups booked Trump hotel rooms to earn president's favor: report MORE (D-Calif.), Joe NeguseJoseph (Joe) NeguseCongress sends a clear message that America is stronger for helping refugees Ocasio-Cortez reveals new policies for campaign aides with children Missouri Republican wins annual craft brewing competition for lawmakers MORE (D-Colo.), Pramila JayapalPramila JayapalDemocrats see whistleblower report as smoking gun House Democrats say memo of Trump call bolsters impeachment case State Dept: Trump travel ban denied more than 31K people entry to US MORE (D-Wash.) and Mark PocanMark William PocanTop progressive calls for Pompeo's salary to be withheld over Sondland's blocked testimony Democrats take Trump impeachment case to voters Democrats press Nadler to hold Lewandowski in contempt MORE (D-Wis.).