Sen. Bernie Sanders unveiled Thursday his own Green New Deal, setting a goal of 100% renewable energy by 2030 with a sweeping climate and social-justice overhaul that he promised would “pay for itself.”
“We need a president who has the courage, the vision, and the record to face down the greed of fossil fuel executives and the billionaire class who stand in the way of climate action,” said the Sanders campaign in a press release. “We need a president who welcomes their hatred.”
The Sanders plan bore many similarities to the resolution proposed in February by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, New York Democrat, including the call for a “nationwide mobilization centered around justice and equity.”
One difference is that Mr. Sanders, a candidate for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, offered more specifics on the costs and benefits.
His plan would invest $16.3 trillion into the program, which he compared to the build-up to World War II, with an emphasis on union workers as well as “black, indigenous and other minority communities who were systematically excluded in the past.”
He also promised a $40 billion Climate Justice Resiliency Fund for “frontline communities,” such as ethnic and racial minorities, the disabled, the elderly and children.
The climate crisis is the greatest challenge facing humanity. It's also our single greatest opportunity to build a just and equitable future.
We are going to create 20 million jobs and an economy that works for all.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) August 22, 2019
While the Ocasio-Cortez resolution called for net-zero emissions by 2030, the Sanders program set a goal of “complete decarbonization by at least 2050.”
Even so, the Sanders plan was pro-automobile, saying there would be “union jobs with strong benefits and safety standards in steel and auto manufacturing, construction, energy retrofitting, coding and server farms, and renewable power plants.”
How would the plan pay for itself? By cutting military spending, adding an estimated 20 million jobs to the economy, force the fossil-fuel industry to “pay for their pollution, and taxing the rich.
He also said that without climate action, the nation would lose an estimated $34.5 trillion in economic activity by the end of the century.
The conservative Heritage Foundation published a report earlier this month saying that the Ocasio-Cortez Green New Deal would result in an aggregate gross domestic product loss of over $15 trillion, “all for negligible climate impact.”
Vice President Mike Pence called Wednesday for embracing the administration’s push for U.S. energy independence and rejecting any candidate or Green New Deal proposal that includes the elimination of fossil fuels.
“They stand for a radical climate change agenda,” Mr. Pence tweeted. “We stand for American Energy Independence.”
We have to say YES to #USMCA & @POTUS’ vision for American Energy & NO to the Green New Deal & ANY candidate for president that wants to “eliminate” fossil fuels! They stand for a radical climate change agenda. We stand for American Energy Independence! 🇺🇸 https://t.co/GO7TYRJHD5
— Mike Pence (@mike_pence) August 22, 2019
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