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Watch Live: House Western Caucus Takes on Green ‘Pipe Dream’ New Deal

PENNY STARR

The House Western Caucus is holding a forum and press conference on Wednesday to challenge Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-NY) Green New Deal and highlight how the extreme and costly plan would harm the U.S. economy and American workers.

“All members of the Western Caucus, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and all cosponsors of H.Res.109, as well as outside organizations on both sides of this issue, have been invited to participate in this forum,” a notice about the forum said.

The radical resolution, which is referred to in the forum notice as a “pipe dream,” has been embraced by many Democrats, including some who hope to challenge President Donald Trump in the 2020 election. It calls for ending air travel, the production of fossil fuels, and “social justice” guaranteeing jobs and universal health care.

The press release on the forum explained an analysis done on the plan:

In September of 2018, the think tank Data for Progress published a 39-page report here that provides the clearest picture to date on how Green New Deal policy objectives will be accomplished and what they actually contain. In this policy report, Data for Progress claims the Green New Deal will:

— Ban hydraulic fracking.

— Enforce the Obama Clean Power Plan to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.

— Reinstate and implement the Obama-era (Waters of the United States) WOTUS Rule.

— Phase out oil exports and leases on public lands.

— Ban unsustainable groundwater mining by large-scale agribusiness.

— Allow zero waste by 2040.

— Expand Sustainable Farming and Soil Practices to 30 percent of Ag land by 2030 and 70 percent by 2050.

— Establish bans on single-use plastics and non-recyclable goods and packaging.

— Reforest 40 million acres of public and private land by 2035.

— Protect two million new miles of waterways.

— Draw new voters.

— Ensure large investments for safe pedestrian and bicycle travel, low-carbon bus rapid transit and

electrified light rail.

— Ratchet up appliance, lighting, and equipment efficiency standards and establish tariffs on low-efficiency imports.

— Provide livable wage requirements that include health insurance, full-time hours, and minimum length of employment.

— Require special consideration and recruitment requirements of workers from low-income, minority, under-employed communities, as well as those displaced by the energy transition.

“The 2/27/19 Policy Forum will provide the first in-depth public review of the Green New Deal (GND) by Congress and will closely examine this proposal in order to gain a better understanding of its details and likely impacts,” the caucus announcement of the forum said. “Witnesses and participants will discuss how a transition of this magnitude might occur, analyze how the proposal will be paid for and the estimated costs, and review the overall feasibility of and opportunities associated with the Green New Deal. The Green New Deal’s impacts on jobs, society, the environment, the economy, as well as on our agriculture, energy and transportation sectors will also be considered.” 

Speakers scheduled for the forum include: Michael Zehr, federal policy advisor, Consumer Energy Alliance; Myron Ebell, director of global warming and international environmental policy, Competitive Enterprise Institute; Katie Tubb, policy analyst for energy and environmental issues at the Heritage Foundation; Rick Manning, president, Americans for Limited Government; Mandy Gunasekara, founder and president of Energy 45; Marc Morano, director of communication for the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow; David Legates, professor of climatology at the University of Delaware; Thomas Pyle, president of the American Energy Alliance; and Bill Imbergamo of the Federal Forest Resource Coalition.

The caucus has spoken out about its stance on U.S. energy policy, one of several issues it is tasked with examining and advancing.

“Securing America’s energy future will require a comprehensive plan and involvement from many federal and state entities, as well as utilizing all of the natural resources that our nation has been blessed with,” Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-CA) said in an article on the caucus’ website. “Creating a strong and structured energy infrastructure that gets the most out of our natural resources will ease sustainability concerns and create jobs along the way.”

“To do this, we must also remove duplicative federal permitting regulations that accomplish in a year what the states could do in a month – bringing progress to a screeching halt,” LaMalfa said.

“The Western Caucus supports American energy dominance and believes we need to increase its energy security through environmentally responsible production from our huge untapped energy resources,” the text reads on the website. “We do our nation and the world a disservice when we continue to rely on foreign energy sources. The Western Caucus supports American energy, which displaces the influence of regimes that use their control of energy supplies to bully us and our allies. President Obama’s quest to reduce domestic energy production – from fossil fuels – was shortsighted and not in the long-term interest of the nation.”

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