Green New Deal Resolution Calls for 100% ‘Clean, Renewable and Zero-Emission Energy Sources’

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey on
Thursday released their much-anticipated
resolution
for a
Green New Deal
. It calls for 100 percent clean energy to supply
all U.S. power through a decade-long national mobilization. 

Though the resolution adds more details to the idea of a Green
New Deal, which started as an ambitious but broad concept to create
environmentally-just jobs and fight climate change, the resolution
is still a starting point. Further legislation would determine how
the federal government meets the goals laid out in the
document.  

And the goals are significant.

The resolution calls for supplying all power using 100 percent
“clean, renewable and zero-emission energy sources,” a departure
from previous statements that the plan would focus on renewables
only. It also calls for deploying distributed smart grids,
upgrading buildings for efficiency, updating infrastructure and
building resiliency through community-focused projects — all in
10 years. And it targets net-zero emissions. 

The plan also calls for righting systemic injustices for
communities disproportionately impacted by environmental issues and
economic inequality. The plan notes that making healthcare,
affordable housing and higher education available — and
especially prioritizing these goals in vulnerable communities —
will be paramount to achieving the overarching policy’s goals. 
 

The text sketches an overhaul of the transportation system that
would include affordable public transit, high-speed rail and
infrastructure and manufacturing for zero-emissions vehicles. The
deal also concentrates on cleaning up sectors where electrification
isn’t an easy solution for reducing emissions, such as
manufacturing and agriculture.

In an
interview
with National Public Radio, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez said
the efforts that the severity of climate change has so far been
unmatched by efforts to combat it.

“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 and to the world,” said
Ocasio-Cortez. 

She added that largescale government intervention is needed,
because a more hands-off approach hasn’t done the job. 

“For 40 years we tried to let the private sector take care of
it,” she said. “What we’re here to say is that government is
not just for cleaning up other peoples’ mess, but it’s also for
building solutions in places where the private sector will
not.”

The deal is easily the most serious piece of climate legislation
debated on a national stage in years. Already, several 2020
democratic presidential candidates have endorsed the idea of the
deal, even as details remained scarce. At least 40 democratic
representatives also came out in support of creating a select
committee in Congress to work on the details of a deal.

Though that specific committee didn’t come to fruition, House
Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday
unveiled
the members of a committee focused on “the climate
crisis.” Another indication that climate change is gaining
political capital: this week the House Committee on Energy &
Commerce hosted its first committee hearing on climate change in
six years.     

“Really what I hope we’re able to do as a party and as a
nation is rediscover the power of public imagination,”
Ocasio-Cortez told NPR. 

Though the plan will be expensive, and the resolution does not
outline a method to pay for it, Ocasio-Cortez said any investments
will eventually pay for themselves. In speaking with NPR, she
compared the benefits of her overhaul policy to the wall that
President Trump and some Republicans want to build on the
U.S.-Mexico border for $15 to $25 billion, a policy she does not
support.

“We have the responsibility to show what another America looks
like,” she said. “What if we actually took all that concrete
and poured it into roads? What if we took all of that engineering
and dedicated it to new energy? What if we took all of that, but
actually invested in something that will have pay back and a return
on our investment for the American people?”  

Ocasio-Cortez is holding a press conference today to discuss the
resolution.

Source: FS – GreenTech Media
Green New Deal Resolution Calls for 100% ‘Clean, Renewable and Zero-Emission Energy Sources’