Democrats have released an outline of the “Green New Deal,” a staple goal of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). The resolution, which is not yet a fully-realized bill but more of a roadmap to the basic goals progressives would like to accomplish, calls for net-zero greenhouse emissions by the year 2030, and suggests a sweeping set of initiatives to work toward it, including renewable public works, investment in high-speed rail, and retrofitting existing buildings for energy efficiency.
And the GOP is banking on this plan being too extreme for the American people to approve.
Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID) called it “loony.” One GOP strategist called it a “piñata that Republicans will continue to hit.” Some Republicans are trying to claim the bill would ban airplanes and cows, based on an FAQ paper from Ocasio-Cortez that says literally the opposite of that. President Donald Trump told a rally in El Paso, Texas, “I really don’t like their policy of taking away your car, of taking away your airplane rights, of ‘let’s hop a train to California,’ of you’re not allowed to own cows anymore!” Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) took it even further in a speech on the Senate floor: “Livestock will be banned. Say goodbye to dairy, beef … American favorites like cheeseburgers & a milkshake would become a thing of the past.” And Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is so confident the Green New Deal will be a losing issue for Democrats that he plans to introduce it for a vote.
Ocasio-Cortez, however, is not deterred. Taking to Twitter, she reminded everyone what is truly important: solving the climate crisis:
Indeed, there are reasons to believe that Republicans’ plan to anchor Democrats to the Green New Deal might be a misread of the public mood. Polling shows that millennials support the Green New Deal by 24 points. Even 64 percent of Republicans are open to it, and voters narrowly support taxing carbon emissions to pay for it.
The steps we take in the next decade to fight climate change and greenhouse emissions will set the course for several generations. Ocasio-Cortez knows this — and wants to remind the American people that the cost of not acting is what we cannot afford.