Thomas Catenacci on April 1, 2022
Dozens of far-left activist groups joined forces this week in unveiling a “Green New Deal” pledge, which includes commitments to trillions in climate spending, for lawmakers to sign.
The pledge — led by leftist groups like the Sunrise Movement, Greenpeace, Public Citizen and the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation — calls on signatories to co-sponsor a series of climate bills, organize colleagues to rally behind “Green New Deal reforms,” publicly support the Green New Deal and reject campaign contributions worth more than $200 from the fossil fuel industry. The groups released the pledge to mark the three-year anniversary of the Green New Deal Resolution introduced by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey in 2019.
The coalition of almost 50 leftist groups said the pledge was important for averting the “worst of the climate crisis” and creating millions of jobs.
“As fossil fuel corporations destroy our communities and profit off of working families at the gas pump, our government has yet to pass climate legislation that meets the moment of crisis,” Sunrise Movement Executive Director Varshini Prakash said in a statement. “And yet, support for the Green New Deal has never been greater.”
While the pledge included 10 pieces of legislation that signers must co-sponsor within six months, it said signers must commit to contributing to new Green New Deal-related bills in the future and that the list was subject to change. Among the bills, the original Green New Deal Resolution, Green New Deal for Cities, Green New Deal for Public Schools, Civilian Climate Corps for Jobs and Justice Act and the Environmental Justice for All Act were included.
“We’re asking candidates to sign the GND Pledge to commit to fighting for a Green New Deal should they be elected to Congress, and we’re asking current members of Congress to show us they are doing everything in their power to pass a Green New Deal right now,” an overview of the pledge stated. “Anything less is a compromise on our futures.”
Overall, the policies in the ten bills mentioned would cost U.S. taxpayers an estimated $94 trillion in just the next decade, according to the American Enterprise Institute. That number is 1,500% more money than Congress appropriated for the COVID-19 pandemic relief effort.
But three years after Ocasio-Cortez and Markey introduced the Green New Deal, Congress has made very little progress on the legislation. Ocasio-Cortez reintroduced the bill in April, but it still hasn’t been green lit by the House Energy and Commerce Committee or received a floor vote.
“Since I introduced the Green New Deal with Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez, the climate crisis has only become more severe,” Markey said in a statement in response to the pledge. “We have to act now to deliver justice for communities on the frontlines of this crisis and create millions of green-collar jobs to save our economy and save our planet.”
The pledge listed more than 20 Democratic lawmakers as “current Green New Deal champions” and nearly 50 others who had already signed the commitment.
“With dozens of critical primary and general elections this year, we’ll see which candidates and elected officials are truly willing to stand up to Big Oil and Gas’s lies and fight for our communities,” said Collin Rees, the political director of Oil Change U.S., one of the groups leading the effort.
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