Dems relaunch Green New Deal, heap pressure on Biden

Washington (AFP) –


Congressional Democrats on Tuesday reintroduced their ambitious and expanded Green New Deal to reshape America's climate and economic policy, demanding considerably steeper investments than those proposed by President Joe Biden's administration.

The initial version of the resolution introduced by popular congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey in early 2019 was a progressive wish list including boosting investments in renewable energy and putting the United States on a path to net zero emissions by 2050.

The plan became a target for conservatives who hammered away at the Green New Deal as pie-in-the-sky socialism that would alter every aspect of the American economy.

In March 2019 it was blocked in the US Senate by Republicans, who used the plan as fodder going into the 2020 election.

With Biden in office and Democrats narrowly controlling Congress, the new president has proposed a $2 trillion infrastructure plan, with much of it going towards mitigating the climate crisis.

The Green New Deal's authors said a broader package is necessary.

Biden's effort to address climate change and reach carbon neutrality has been "commendable," but "we have to go bigger and bolder than that," Ocasio-Cortez said in reintroducing her plan.

"We're going to transition to a 100 percent carbon-free economy that is more unionized, more just, more dignified and guarantees more health care and housing than any than we ever have before," she said.

The deal includes some new elements, among them a bill to create a "civilian climate corps" that would boost green jobs, and improve justice and fair housing in inner cities.

"It is going to be an all hands on deck approach and we refuse to leave any community behind in the process," the congresswoman widely known as AOC said.

Markey said now was no time to compromise on the fate of the planet and that government must step up.

"We have the technology to do it. We have the economic imperative to do it, we have the moral obligation to do it, and we need the political will to do it," he said.

Republicans quickly spoke out against the plan.

The Green New Deal "would destroy our economy -- plain and simple," tweeted House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

"Socialism isn't the answer to climate change," he added, saying Republicans are putting together their own plans that would promote nuclear power, expand fracking, hydropower and mining, and invest in renewable energy.