Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Unveils Green New Deal for ‘Economic Transformation’

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 07: U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) speaks during a news conference at the East Front of the U.S. Capitol February 7, 2019 in Washington, DC. The freshmen congresswoman held a news conference to call on Congress "to cut funding for President Trump's deportation force." (Photo by …
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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), a self-described Democratic Socialist, introduced the Green New Deal on Thursday, which is a resolution that calls for transforming the United States economy.

Ocasio-Cortez gave her plan first to National Public Radio (NPR), which called her “the most famous member of Congress” and “a media star” in an interview aired on Thursday.

“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,” Ocasio-Cortez told NPR on Morning Edition.

The House Resolution, which is yet to be numbered, is prefaced with “facts” about climate change according to the United Nation’s October 2018 report, ‘‘Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5oC’’ from its Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the federal government’s November 2018 Fourth National Climate Assessment report.

Both reports, which rely on forecast models, blame human activity for climate change, and Ocasio-Cortez blames the U.S. specifically:

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, which provides no specifics for how to achieve or pay for its broad goals — “net-zero emissions by 2050,” “wage and benefit parity for workers,” “counteract[ing] systemic injustices,” “repairing historic oppression of indigenous communities, communities of color, migrant communities, deindustrialized communities,” and universal health care — has 50 Democrat cosponsors, according to NPR.

Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA), a longtime climate change zealot, is a cosponsor of the resolution.

The resolution also states that the U.S. is facing crises, including “life expectancy declining while basic needs, such as clean air, clean water, healthy food, and adequate health care, housing, transportation, and education, are inaccessible to a significant portion of the United States population.”

NPR asked Ocasio-Cortez if she would agree that her resolution calls for “massive government intervention” to reach its goals.

“It does. I have no problem saying that,” Ocasio-Cortez said, adding that the private sector has failed to address climate change.

NPR reported: 

Among the most prominent, the deal calls for “meeting 100 percent of the power demand in the United States through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources.” The ultimate goal is to stop using fossil fuels entirely, as well as to transition away from nuclear energy.

NPR noted that the much-touted Green New Deal is, at this point, just a “framework” that would have to go through the usual protocol required to produce legislation that could eventually become law.

Ocasio-Cortez, who initially opposed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s efforts to regain the gavel, told NPR that Pelosi is doing a good job.

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