What is the “Green New Deal?”

Dawson Barnard

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New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, after coming from seemingly nowhere, has quickly made herself a household name to most Americans who are even remotely interested in politics.  Representative Ocasio-Cortez, the “new face for the Democratic Party,” (CNN) has achieved her current rise in publicity through some of her controversial stances on political issues.  Recently, she proposed her Green New Deal resolution on her website.  While she denied responsibility for the original proposal, archived copies of the document on her website are still readily viewable.

The original document guarantees “everyone” a job with family-sustaining wages, family and medical leave, vacations, and retirement security, high-quality education, including higher education and trade schools, high-quality health care, clean air and water, healthy food, safe, affordable, adequate housing, an economic environment free of monopolies, and economic security to all who are unable or unwilling to work.  The resolution also calls for net-zero emissions in the United States in 10 years, and “retrofitting all buildings to be energy efficient.” Net-zero emissions are called for in 10 years instead of zero emissions because “we aren’t sure that we will be able to fully get rid of, for example, emissions from cows or air travel before then.”

Representative Ocasio-Cortez is also aware of how much her Green New Deal resolution would cost stating, “The level of investment required to make the Green New Deal successful is massive. Even if every billionaire and company came together and were willing to pour all their resources into this investment, the aggregate value of investments would not be sufficient.  That’s why we must utilize World War II era and New Deal-style financing which commits to long-term benefits instead of short-term quarterly returns.” Although responsibility for the document was denied and quickly deleted, the state of modern technology through tools like The Wayback Machine preserve the original resolution for viewership by the public.  Regardless, more Green New Deal resolutions have surfaced following Representative Ocasio-Cortez’s initial proposition, and the movement seems to be slowly gaining momentum.

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