GREEN NEW DEAL COMES OUT WITH A BANG: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOhio city to stop observing Columbus Day, make Election Day holiday instead Analyst says most Americans don’t take issue with higher taxes on the wealthy New poll finds overwhelming support for an annual wealth tax MORE (D-N.Y.) on Thursday introduced a new climate change resolution with aims to bring the progressive Green New Deal to life legislatively and push the U.S. to take a lead role in reducing carbon emissions through the economy.
The proposal, titled “Recognizing the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal,” has a goal of creating millions of “good, high-wage jobs” by striving for net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. Sen. Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyActor Chris Evans meets with Democratic senators before State of the Union Climate change on front burner after 8 years of GOP rule Ocasio-Cortez starts to fill in details of ‘Green New Deal’ MORE (D-Mass.) is introducing a companion proposal in the upper chamber.
The legislation offers a natural transition for Ocasio-Cortez, who before even formally entering office championed the idea of a Green New Deal as the basis for creating a special committee on climate change.
Engaging in a sit-in at Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy Patricia D’Alesandro PelosiTrump, Democrats clash over probes Senate buzz grows for Abrams after speech electrifies Dems Democrats step up work to get Trump tax returns MORE‘s (D-Calif.) office with members of the youth climate advocacy group the Sunrise Movement, Ocasio-Cortez pushed to make climate change a main focus of the Democratic Party as they took back control of the House.
Her proposed special committee was ultimately rejected by Democratic leaders, who opted instead for a panel on climate crisis that lacks legislative and subpoena power.
Pelosi on Thursday announced the names of eight members of Congress who will sit on that panel. Ocasio-Cortez is not one of them.
The resolution aims to continue the tenants of that committee, priming congressional leaders to accept the dire climate situation as laid out in this November’s United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report that the world has 12 years to reverse emissions trends in order to thwart irreversible global warming.
“Whereas, because the United States has historically been responsible for a disproportionate amount of greenhouse gas emissions, having emitted 20 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions through 2014, and has a high technological capacity, the United States must take a leading role in reducing emissions through economic transformation,” the resolution reads.
The proposal says that accomplishing the plan would take a 10 year “national mobilization” and would include resilience building, a 100 percent renewable-energy driven power grid, updating “smart” power grids and increasing building energy efficiency. Buried in the resolution is also a commitment that all future infrastructure bills would specifically address climate change.
The text also includes a long wish list for Ocasio-Cortez, seeking environmental changes not directly related to climate change such as supporting family farming, guaranteeing universal access to clean drinking water and investments in high-speed railroads.
“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, to our country, to the world,” Ocasio-Cortez said in an interview on NPR on Thursday.
“This is really about providing justice for communities and just transitions for communities. So, really the heart of the Green New Deal is about social justice.”
The proposal has been met in some instances with scorn from people on the right, who criticize it as a radical pipe dream rather than an achievable climate goal.
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PELOSI NAMES DEMS TO NEW CLIMATE PANEL–BUT NOT AOC: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday named eight Democrats to the new special climate change committee, but freshman lawmaker Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.) was not among them.
The panel, which is charged with examining climate change and steps to mitigate it, will include lawmakers with a wide range of tenures. Three of those Democratic members will be freshmen, and Ocasio-Cortez said she turned down an offer from Pelosi to be on the committee.
“This new Select Committee will spearhead Democrats’ work to develop innovative, effective solutions to prevent and reverse the climate crisis,” Pelosi said in a statement. “It will generate the energy and action required to permanently reduce pollution so that we can honor our responsibility to be good stewards of the planet for future generations.”
The Democratic members are Reps. Ben Ray Luján (N.M.), Suzanne BonamiciSuzanne Marie BonamiciWhy the state of skills training should be a big part of the State of the Union House Democrats call on Trump to act on climate change Reporter tops lawmakers to win charity spelling bee MORE (Ore.), Julia BrownleyJulia Andrews BrownleyDem lawmaker wants federal laws rewritten with gender neutral terms VA leadership must step up and look at more meaningful reforms Dems aim to balance oversight, bipartisanship on VA committee MORE (Calif.), Sean CastenSean CastenPelosi names Dems to new climate panel — but not AOC MORE (Ill.), Jared HuffmanJared William HuffmanDespite disagreements with Trump, Democrats should loudly applaud prison reform GOP rep will ‘probably’ support measure to back Paris climate pact Overnight Energy: House Dem to offer measure backing Paris climate deal | Former Federal Reserve chiefs call for carbon tax | Watchdog urges agencies to update climate guidance MORE (Calif.), Mike Levin (Calif.), A. Donald McEachinAston (Donale) Donald McEachinVirginia in tumult as top Democrats engulfed in controversy Congressional Black Caucus leaders call on Northam to resign Support for Northam withers as Dems urge him to step down MORE (Va.) and Joseph Neguse (Colo.).
“It has never been more clear that climate change is the existential threat of our time, and one that is particularly pressing for my generation,” Neguse, one of the freshmen on the panel, said in a statement Thursday. “We must take bold action on the climate crisis now in order to preserve this world — not only for my generation, but also for every generation to come, like that of my six-month-old daughter.”
Ocasio-Cortez said at a press conference Thursday that Pelosi had invited her to sit on the panel.
“She did in fact invite me to be on the committee,” Ocasio-Cortez told reporters. “So I don’t think this is a snub. I don’t think it is anything like that.”
Even before Democrats won the House majority in the November midterm elections, Pelosi made clear she wanted to resurrect the special climate committee that she established when Democrats previously controlled the chamber, 2007 to 2011. At that time, the panel was called the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, chaired by then-Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.).
Pelosi disappointed many progressives, including Ocasio-Cortez, when she said the new panel would not have the power to advance legislation or issue subpoenas. Instead, it can only make recommendations to other committees.
That decision was made after veteran Democrats on other panels, like Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone Jr.Frank Joseph PalloneHouse Dems to mull bills to overturn Trump ObamaCare actions Hillicon Valley: Groups protest ‘invasive’ smart wall technologies | Officials find foreign meddling had no impact on midterms | Tech giants pull big profits despite controversy | Dems press Apple over FaceTime bug | Facebook bans insurgents in Myanmar House Dems demand answers from Apple on FaceTime bug MORE (N.J.), objected to a powerful select committee.
Pelosi previously named Rep. Kathy CastorKatherine (Kathy) Anne CastorDems introduce bills to block offshore drilling House energy panel to dedicate first hearing to climate change House Dems formalize climate committee plans without Green New Deal language MORE (D-Fla.) to be chairwoman of the committee.
Republican members of the panel have not yet been named. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin Owen McCarthyTrump, Democrats clash over probes Coalition urges Congress to pass bipartisan infrastructure bill GOP leader joins Trump in calling for end to Dem investigations MORE (R-Calif.) is responsible for picking the five GOP lawmakers.
And Pelosi tries to tamp down controversy…
PELOSI PRAISES GREEN NEW DEAL ‘ENTHUSIASM’: Pelosi on Thursday welcomed the enthusiasm surrounding the “Green New Deal” climate bill backed by Ocasio-Cortez — a day after she appeared to brush off the legislation as just another suggestion in an interview with Politico.
Pelosi at her press conference said she had not yet seen the bill but said she welcomed “the enthusiasm that is there.”
“Quite frankly I haven’t seen it, but I do know that it’s enthusiastic, and we welcome all the enthusiams that are out there,” she said.
In the Wednesday interview with Politico, however, Pelosi was not nearly as effusive in discussing the green new deal, which Ocasio-Cortez officially introduced Thursday.
“It will be one of several or maybe many suggestions that we receive,” Pelosi said of the green new deal in the interview. “The green dream or whatever they call it, nobody knows what it is, but they’re for it right?”
COURT TO RECONSIDER ORDERING EPA TO BAN PESTICIDE: A federal appeals court is reconsidering its ruling last year that ordered the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ban a pesticide.
The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit said Wednesday that it had accepted the arguments the Trump administration made and will rehear the case, and could overturn a August 2018 ruling by a three-judge panel of the court. The rehearing will be in front of all of the court’s judges, or en banc.
The decision is a big victory for the Trump administration and a loss for environmental and labor advocates, who point to the EPA’s own science showing a link between chlorpyrifos and health problems like neurological disorders, particularly in children.
Then-EPA chief Scott PruittEdward (Scott) Scott PruittOvernight Energy: Exxon plans B natural gas export terminal | Senate panel advances Wheeler’s EPA nomination | Climate change back on the front burner in Congress Senate panel advances Wheeler’s nomination to be EPA chief EPA nominee Andrew Wheeler is a risk to public health MORE refused in 2017 to ban the pesticide from use on food crops. In a 2-1 decision, the Ninth Circuit court said there was “no justification” for declining the petition and accused Pruitt of an “utter failure” to enforce the law.
Reaction: “EPA is pleased that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has agreed to rehear its earlier decision in this matter, and we will work closely with the Department of Justice in preparation for the rehearing,” EPA spokeswoman Molly Block said of the court’s decision.
The EPA appealed the ruling in September 2018, saying the order conflicts with Supreme Court precedent that the issue should have been returned to the agency for reconsideration, without “directing specific action.”
It also said the ruling conflicts with the processes outlined in the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, the law governing EPA oversight of pesticides.
Environmentalists were disappointed at the rehearing order.
“EPA’s own scientists have said for more than two years that chlorpyrifos is harmful, particularly to children,” Patti Goldman, an Earthjustice attorney involved in the case, said in a statement.
OUTSIDE THE BELTWAY:
Two key pipeline shutdowns cause Canadian oil price to slip, Bloomberg reports.
Anti-OPEC bill allowing U.S. to sue oil cartel moves forward, Bloomberg reports.
Shutdown impacts hit Death Valley National Park, ThinkProgress reports.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
Check out stories from Thursday:
-Court to reconsider ordering EPA to ban pesticide
-Pelosi praises enthusiasm behind ‘Green New Deal’ after seeming to brush it off
-Pelosi names Dems to new climate panel — but not AOC
-Ocasio-Cortez unveils Green New Deal climate resolution
-Michigan’s GOP state House moves to void Dem governor’s decision on environmental panels