Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) has unveiled her “Green New Deal” program, which promises to both create jobs and cut carbon emissions in an effort to combat global warming. The Green New Deal is sure to shake things up in Washington, DC, where partisan bickering has resulted in massive fault lines between the Democratic and Republican parties.
So what is the Green New Deal? First, it’s a non-binding resolution. This means that even if AOC’s resolution was passed in Congress today, it wouldn’t create any new programs or laws. Instead, it’d simply signal Congress’s intent to tackle climate change and to commit to economic transformation.
That being said, AOC’s vision is nothing short of ambitious. The Green New Deal calls for the United States to transition completely to renewable energy and also to eventually close down nuclear power plants. In addition, “all buildings” would be upgraded to be more energy efficient.
Energy wouldn’t be the only issue tackled by the Green New Deal either. AOC wants to work with farmers to eliminate pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. The transportation system would likewise be overhauled and access to electric car-charging stations would be greatly expanded.
AOC’s Green New Deal also aims to expand Franklin D. Roosevelt’s original new deal, which paved the way for social security, Medicare, and other social welfare programs. AOC wants to go much further, guaranteeing people family-sustaining jobs, access to health care, and affordable housing.
At the moment, AOC’s vision is a pipe dream. Then again, a few years before FDR assumed office, many would have likely thought that his own New Deal was nothing but fantasy. Many Americans are indeed warming to certain progressive ideas, such as expanding Medicare to cover every American.
Many Americans are also warming to the idea that climate change is real. In fact, a recent poll found that 8 in 10 Americans believe the climate is changing and 54 percent believe that climate change is a serious problem. AOC’s Green New Deal may almost certainly become a real deal in the immediate future; change may still be in the cards.
Senator Ed Markey, (D-MA) is sponsoring the Senate version of the Green New Deal.