Energy & Environment

Ocasio-Cortez, Markey reintroduce Green New Deal resolution

Lawmakers reintroduce Green New Deal proposal
Greg Nash

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) on Tuesday reintroduced a resolution in support of a Green New Deal. 

The resolution, which would be an expression of congressional sentiment rather than a law, says that it’s the government’s duty to create a Green New Deal that can be accomplished through a 10-year national mobilization. 

It calls for meeting the country’s power demand through zero-emission energy sources and “overhauling” transportation to remove pollution through investing in zero-emission vehicles, public transit and high-speed rail. 

“For so long, our movement towards a sustainable future has been divided with really just this false notion that we have to choose between our planet and our economy,” Ocasio-Cortez said during a press conference.

“We decided to come together in sweeping legislation that not only rejects that notion, but creates a plan for 20 million union jobs in the United States of America, to rebuild our infrastructure, to restore public housing, to make sure that we expand our access not only to EV [electric vehicle] and EV infrastructure but mass transit,” she added. “It is going to be an all hands on deck approach and we refuse to leave any community behind in the process.”

The Green New Deal resolution, first introduced in 2019, has become a political lightning rod, as the idea has been embraced by progressives, but fiercely rejected by Republicans who have sought to paint it as extreme.

The reintroduction began getting GOP pushback even before it was introduced.

“The green new disaster is back,” Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) said in a statement. “The Green New Deal isn’t about protecting the environment. It’s about massively increasing the size of government and dictating how Americans live their lives.”

It’s an issue where President Biden has sought to walk a fine line, calling it a “crucial framework” on the campaign trail but declining to explicitly endorse it like many of his primary rivals did. 

The Green New Deal’s stated goals are to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, create millions of good-paying jobs, invest in infrastructure, promote justice and equity for historically marginalized communities and secure clean air and water and resiliency to climate change. 

Markey said during Tuesday’s press conference that he and Ocasio-Cortez are also introducing a Civilian Climate Corps bill to put people to work and help the environment. 

Biden has endorsed the idea of a Civilian Climate Corps to create jobs by conserving and restoring public lands, boosting resilience and increasing reforestation. 

The lawmakers said Tuesday that they also hope to go beyond what Biden has proposed on climate.

“We are going to be calling for the highest aspirations that our country can reach,” Markey said. “We want to lift the gaze to the constellation of possibilities for our country and for the world.”

—Updated at 12:13 p.m.

Tags Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Climate change climate policy Congress Ed Markey environmental policy Green New Deal Joe Biden John Barrasso
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