New Democrats position themselves as realistic alternative to Green New Deal
Members of a new House task force on climate change are aiming to offer what they call realistic climate change initiatives–a goal they say runs counter to the solely “aspirational” Green New Deal.
“The Green New Deal is aspirational, what we plan to do is offer tangible, achievable things not just a resolution,” Rep. Elaina Luria (D-Va.), a leader the New Democrat Coalition’s climate change task force, told reporters Thursday.
“The entire plan of the task force is to find ways to attack this incrementally,” she said of fighting global temperature rise.
Speaking to reporters Thursday, the four leaders of the 17 member task force said their goal was to brainstorm and introduce market driven climate initiatives that carry political weight. Those ideas might include bills to institute a Cap and Trade system or other methods of driving renewable energy usage.
The group unabashedly knocked the controversial progressive-backed Green New Deal resolution, introduced in February by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-Ny.) as “loud.”
“The energy industry is replete with bad unintended consequences of well intentioned regulation. The aspirations of the Green New Deal are great. The amount of attention it’s brought to this issue are fantastic. But doing energy and environmental policy right really requires you get the expertise of the folks who have been down in the trenches,” said Rep. Sean Casten (D-Ill.), a freshman lawmaker who ran primarily on a climate change platform.
“The Green New Deal is a political document. If we don’t pass it tomorrow it won’t make a lick of difference.”
Democratic Reps. Don Beyer, (Va.), Suan Wild (Pa.), Casten and Luria all said they would not vote for the Green New Deal resolution if it were to come for a vote.
“I think we have to be grateful for it, even if we can’t sign on to it,” said Beyer.
Luria said that unlike the “big and bold” initiatives of the Green New Deal, which in part aims to create jobs through transitioning the U.S. energy grid to 100 percent renewable energy, the task force would be more measured.
”The move is going to be gradual. We’re not going to do 100 percent over ten years,” she said.
Since its introduction the Green New Deal resolution has met resistance from a number of groups, including Democrats. Earlier Thursday House Republican leadership called on Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) to hold a hearing on the resolution so they could debate the issue they consider to be an economic killer.
The Senate is planning a vote on its companion legislation at the end of March.