Breakingviews - U.S. Green New Deal is at least a big idea

Reps. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and Rep. Alma Adams react at House Democrats news conferenceon Capitol Hill in Washington

Ocasio-Cortez Seeks More Co-Sponsors As the Introduction of Green New Deal Legislation Approaches

Democrats launched a sweeping plan Thursday to transform the USA economy to combat climate change and create thousands of jobs in renewable energy, signaling its likely elevation as a central campaign issue in 2020 despite President Donald Trump's failure to mention climate change in his State of the Union address.

The freshman congresswoman, along with Sen. "We leave no one behind".

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. Ocasio-Cortez said Pelosi invited her to join the panel but she declined, saying she wants to focus on the Green New Deal and other committee assignments.

During Nielsen's heated exchange with Representative Luis Gutierrez (D., Texas), which Ocasio-Cortez referenced, the secretary distinguished between a comprehensive family-separation policy that would apply to all migrants and the zero-tolerance enforcement policy, which applied only to migrants who were being prosecuted for crossing the border illegally.

The New York freshman lawmaker was one of the sponsors at Thursday's unveiling of a Green New Deal resolution on controlling climate change.

Although Pelosi has experience as speaker pushing climate change policies under previous administrations, more progressive members have questioned her eagerness to support an ambitious new climate proposal.

From left, Democratic Representatives Kathy Castor of Florida, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of NY and Donna Shalala of Florida listen as Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi speaks during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol on January 30.

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 backers.

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Answering critics who call the plan unrealistic, Ocasio-Cortez says that when President John F. Kennedy wanted to go to the moon by the end of the 1960s, 'people said it was impossible'.

Congressional Democrats have proposed a "Green New Deal" plan that aims to completely transform America's economy and society within 10 years to combat climate change and create social justice.

The Democrats are likely to meet resistance to their proposal in Congress, especially in the Republican-controlled Senate.

The last four years were the warmest on record, the United Nations' World Meteorological Organization said this week, linking the trend to greenhouse-gas emissions. There are specific flaws, too, including the neglect of nuclear power as a potentially important bridge between fossil fuels and the ideal of all-renewable energy.

"The public is much more aware of the challenge that we face and that is a good thing", Pelosi, a California Democrat, said.

The Green New Deal proposal is named after President Franklin Roosevelt's sweeping "New Deal" economic and labor reforms during the Great Depression.

Government can take an equity stake in Green New Deal projects "so the public gets a return on its investment", she said.

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