Ocasio-Cortez, Sanders unveil $180B Green New Deal public housing plan

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezWill Democrats attempt to pack the Supreme Court again? On The Money: Anxious Democrats push for vote on COVID-19 aid | Pelosi, Mnuchin ready to restart talks | Weekly jobless claims increase | Senate treads close to shutdown deadline McCarthy says there will be a peaceful transition if Biden wins MORE (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersTrump, Biden will not shake hands at first debate due to COVID-19 Sanders tells Maher 'there will be a number of plans' to remove Trump if he loses Sirota reacts to report of harassment, doxing by Harris supporters MORE (I-Vt.) on Thursday unveiled the next step to their Green New Deal plan with a bill focused entirely on reimagining public housing.

The bill from the two progressive firebrands places a sharp focus on decarbonizing the nation's public housing units.

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The proposal calls for an investment of $180 billion over 10 years to sustainably retrofit and repair public housing with the goal of eliminating all carbon emissions. The housing units would meet the zero-emissions goal through the use of solar panels and renewable energy sources.

The lawmakers say the legislation would not only cut the carbon footprint of the country’s fleet of housing units but enrich the lives of their inhabitants.

“This bill shows that we can address our climate and affordable housing crises by making public housing a model of efficiency, sustainability and resiliency,” Sanders, who is one of the top-tier hopefuls running in the 2020 Democratic primary, said in a statement Thursday.

“Importantly, the working people who have been most impacted by decades of disinvestment in public housing will be empowered to lead this effort and share in the economic prosperity that it generates for our country.”

Ocasio-Cortez said the bill offered the promise of a climate change opportunity.

“The Green New Deal for Public Housing Act will train and mobilize the workforce to decarbonize the public housing stock and improve the quality of life for all residents,” she said in a statement.

The two lawmakers are expected to formally unveil the legislation Thursday afternoon surrounded by public housing residents, affordable housing advocates and climate activists. The bill is also endorsed by Sen. Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyThe Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by The Air Line Pilots Association - Trump, Biden renew push for Latino support Sunday shows - Trump team defends coronavirus response Oregon senator says Trump's blame on 'forest management' for wildfires is 'just a big and devastating lie' MORE (D-Ore.) and Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenOvernight Defense: Appeals court revives House lawsuit against military funding for border wall | Dems push for limits on transferring military gear to police | Lawmakers ask for IG probe into Pentagon's use of COVID-19 funds On The Money: Half of states deplete funds for Trump's 0 unemployment expansion | EU appealing ruling in Apple tax case | House Democrats include more aid for airlines in coronavirus package Warren, Khanna request IG investigation into Pentagon's use of coronavirus funds MORE (D-Mass), who is running against Sanders in the Democratic primary.

Energy consumption in residential and commercial buildings make up nearly 40 percent of all energy use in the U.S. Shrinking the footprint of buildings has been a big area of focus for those seeking to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions. 

In April, New York City passed a sweeping climate plan likened to the Green New Deal that would require New York’s largest residential and commercial buildings to reduce carbon emissions by 40 percent by 2040 and 80 percent by 2050. In comparison, the Green New Deal resolution introduced in Congress at the beginning of this year aims to get the U.S. electric grid running on 100 percent green energy by 2030.