Democrats push 'Green New Deal' for clean energy

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on February 7, 2019 - Duration: 02:12s

Democrats push 'Green New Deal' for clean energy

Rising Democratic star Rep.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Democratic Senator Ed Markey on Thursday laid out the goals of a Green New Deal to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in 10 years, setting a high bar for Democrats who plan to make climate change a central issue in the 2020 presidential race.

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Democrats push 'Green New Deal' for clean energy

[SOUNDBITE REP.

ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ] 'Climate change and our environmental challenges are one of the biggest existential threats to our way of life.'

Democrats on Thursday threw down the gauntlet on climate change, unveiling an ambitious 10-year-plan to make the U.S. carbon neutral by 2030.

Drafted by congressional rising star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and longtime environmental advocate Sen.

Ed Markey, the Green New Deal as it's called evokes FDR's New Deal with its emphasis on job creation.

[SOUNDBITE SEN.

ED MARKEY] 'We are talking about the greatest blue-collar job creation program in a generation.'

It also aims to create a safety net for 'frontline' communities impacted by fossil fuel use.

[SOUNDBITE REP.

ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ] 'Today is a big day for workers in Appalachia//for children that have been breathing dirty air in the South Bronx//for families who have been enduring the injustices of drinking dirty water….'

The plan calls for projects to modernize transportation, de-carbonize manufacturing and agriculture, make buildings and homes more energy efficient and increase land preservation.

[SOUNDBITE SEN.

ED MARKEY] 'We need massive renewable energy deployment.

Wind, solar, offshore wind, storage batteries for renewable electricity.'

So sweeping in nature, it also folds in universal healthcare and federal job guarantees.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who a decade ago unsuccessfully pushed a climate change bill, is tepid on the measure - but several Democrats who plan to make climate change a core issue of their 2020 presidential campaigns have backed its concept.

Republicans have been quick to wave it off as heavy-handed.

Sen.

Markey seizing the moment Thursday to blast who he called one of the GOP's biggest climate change deniers.

[SOUNDBITE SEN.

ED MARKEY] '… Donald Trump.

A president who did not utter the words 'climate change' or 'clean energy' during his State of the Union two nights ago.'

Sixty members of the House and nine senators are co-sponsoring the resolution.

There is no mention of costs or how the ambitious plan will be funded.

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