Democratic panel to float climate plan ahead of November election

James Marshall
July 1, 2020

But they do not go almost as far as the Green New Deal resolution previously floated by the party's progressive wing that called for a 10-year transition to a 100% clean energy economy.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., calls for dramatic steps to virtually eliminate US greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 with a goal of meeting "100% of the power demand in the United States through clean, renewable and zero-emission energy sources", including nuclear power.

Together, the recommendations would put the United States on track to slash net greenhouse gas emissions 88% below 2010 levels by 2050, according to Energy Innovation, a nonpartisan climate policy research group that modeled the plan with committee staff.

The plan also would require that by 2035 new cars emit no greenhouse gases, while heavy-duty trucks would eliminate those emissions by 2040.

Net-zero power sector emissions by 2040 and some kind of carbon pricing. That said, this is an election year, and the political balance could shift by 2021, at which point, the plan may have more of a chance.

"It will be a fight as long as it needs to be", House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday.

"We are releasing a transformative road map for solving the climate crisis", committee chair Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Fla., said. "Democrats know that the climate crisis is the essential crisis of our time". "We have a plan for building the 100% clean energy economy". It was not immediately clear if lawmakers and other green groups will support it.

The plan features recommendations for nearly every sector of the economy.

President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans have expanded responsible, clean-energy technologies "while the Democrats continue to push radical Green New Deal-like polices that would cripple America's economy and crush the poorest communities across the globe", said White House spokesman Judd Deere.

In a glossary of the multitude of terms used in the sprawling document, Democrats define "environmental justice" as "the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, culture, national origin or income, with respect to the development, implementation and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policies to ensure that each person enjoys (1) the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards; and (2) equal access to any federal agency action on environmental justice issues in order to have a healthy environment in which to live, learn, work, and recreate". His campaign praised the plan, which also has the backing of a number of environmental activist groups.

The intrigue: One thing to look for is how the left flank of the party and the climate movement greet the plan.

Some argue that the plan could be more ambitious.

"There's nothing to lose by going bigger, " Maunus said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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