Dems Remove Fossil Fuel Eradication From Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal
In what will likely be a major disappointment for the Democratic Party’s progressive base, the upcoming Green New Deal legislation will omit the plan’s lauded goal: A specific deadline for ending U.S. fossil fuel development.
New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Ed Markey are expected to unveil their Green New Deal resolution later this week.
However, their bill will not include a set date for complete oil and gas eradication, according to a Politico report.
Instead, the legislation will outline more ambiguous goals. A section of the text includes a call for achieving “net-zero greenhouse gas emissions for a fair and just transition for frontline communities and displaced workers,” and aims to eliminate the country’s carbon footprint by 2030 using unproven technology.
The bill also breaks with old tenets of the Green New Deal by touting “clean” energy instead of “renewable” energy, leaving the door open for other zero-carbon energy sources such as nuclear, which has experienced a rapid decline in recent years.
The changes are reportedly meant to serve as a compromise between two major factions of the Democratic Party: The environmentalists who don’t like the fossil fuel industry and union workers who depend on fossil fuel-related jobs.
“It was an inclusive drafting process that included stakeholders from environmental, labor and more traditional environmental organizations,” said Julian NoiseCat, policy director with the environmentalist group 350.org. “I think that is itself pretty laudable.”
Critics of the Green New Deal pointed to the omission as proof of the necessity of oil and natural gas.
“Even the most hardened opponents of affordable energy now admit that slogans like ‘Keep It In the Ground’ and ‘ban fracking now’ are nothing more than fringe talking points. It’s easy to declare the end of fossil fuels, but actually crafting a plan to destroy the economy is both bad policy and bad politics,” said Texans for Natural Gas spokesman Steve Everley in a Monday statement. “We eagerly await the next walk back from supporters of the Green New Deal.”
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