Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez left off Pelosi's climate change panel

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

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

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, New York Democrat, released Thursday the much-anticipated Green New Deal resolution, outlining a sweeping overhaul of the economy and energy sector laden with ambitious social-justice goals.

Republicans have been quick to criticize the initiative, waving off any kind of proposal as heavy-handed.

In an interview with NPR, Ocasio-Cortez justified the massive scope of the plan by saying: "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".

At the same time, the resolution stopped short of demanding the elimination of fossil fuels, as some proponents of a Green New Deal had previously suggested, calling instead for eliminating greenhouse-gas emissions in infrastructure "as much as technologically feasible".

The two politicians represent a contrasts in generations and experience - Ocasio-Cortez quickly rose in progressive circles with her defeat of an entrenched incumbent past year, and Markey has been in Congress since the 1970s - but both are strong advocates for stronger environmental laws.

A joint resolution drafted by Ocasio-Cortez and Markey sets a goal to meet "100 percent of the power demand in the United States through clean, renewable and zero-emission energy sources", including dramatic increases in wind and solar power.

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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. "And so that's really what we're trying to accomplish with the Green New Deal". Trump, who has expressed doubts about climate change, also is likely to oppose it. In addition, it calls for universal healthcare and federal job and training guarantees.

The Green New Deal would be paid for "the same way we paid for the original New Deal, World War II, the bank bailouts, tax cuts for the rich and decades of war - with public money appropriated by Congress", Ocasio-Cortez claimed.

Members of the group have already put pressure on Democratic presidential hopefuls over the last few weeks. Other initial co-sponsors include Democratic Reps.

The House resolution has nine co-sponsors and climate champion Democratic Senator Ed Markey of MA will introduce companion legislation in the Senate, according to the letter. 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".

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

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