Green New Deal Guarantees Economic Security for Those ‘Unwilling to Work’

Cristina Cross
February 7, 2019

While setting lofty goals, the plan does not explicitly call for eliminating the use of fossil fuels such as oil and natural gas, a nod to pragmatism that may disappoint some of Ocasio-Cortez's strongest supporters.

Progressive activists are "extremely supportive of the Green New Deal and think of it as the gold standard plan on climate, and expect their presidential candidates to be treating it as such", said Chad Bolt, associate policy director of Indivisible, a grassroots resistance group.

A memo from Ocasio-Cortez's office to her colleagues, according to Axios, calls for support of legislation that will set into motion "national, social, industrial and economic mobilization at a scale not seen since World War II".

Republicans have already criticised the initiative, waving off any kind of proposal as heavy-handed.

Florida Rep. Kathy Castor will chair the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis.

The non-binding resolution outlines several goals for the United States, including meeting 100 percent of power demand from zero-emission energy sources.

Ocasio-Cortez is not on the panel.

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While calling for the elimination of pollution and greenhouse gas emissions in agriculture, transportation, manufacturing and construction, the resolution contains no mention of bans or regulation, as other plans have described.

The New York freshman lawmaker was one of the sponsors at Thursday's unveiling of a Green New Deal resolution on controlling climate change. In addition, it calls for universal healthcare and federal job and training guarantees.

"We. need to be sure that workers now employed in fossil fuel industries have higher-wage and better jobs available to them to be able to make this transition, and a federal jobs guarantee ensures that no worker is left behind", according to a summary of the plan.

"It does, it does, yeah, I have no problem saying that", Ocasio-Cortez said.

A news conference at the Capitol is set for Thursday, the day they introduce the resolution. The New York congresswoman added, "It could be part of a larger solution, but no one has actually scoped out what that larger solution would entail".

Most of the Democratic presidential candidates, including Senators Kirsten Gillibrand of New York; Kamala Harris of California; Elizabeth Warren of MA; and Cory Booker of New Jersey have also broadly endorsed the idea behind the Green New Deal. If they fail to support the resolution by February 26, the group said its members plan to storm their offices, hold rallies and make "it clear that young people are ready to hold our politicians' feet to the fire".

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she welcomes "the enthusiasm" of backers of a Green New Deal, but she stopped short of supporting it.

"The GND movement are way smarter than that - they will not accept vague endorsements", Carlock told Reuters.

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