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Democrats to Move on from Green New Deal

2020 Election Activities, Federal Legislation, Opinions, Policy
March 28, 2019

by Miranda Green (The Hill)  Democrats are putting the Green New Deal in the rearview mirror, but they’re not abandoning climate change legislation. Supporters of the progressive measure are shifting their sights away from passing a comprehensive plan to create green jobs and pursue 100 percent renewable energy by 2030. They are instead looking at multiple bills in hopes of advancing elements of the broader initiative.

The change comes after a heated few months where Republicans battered the idea of the Green New Deal, damaging a brand initially promoted by freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.).

The Senate on Tuesday blocked legislation to advance the Green New Deal resolution on a procedural vote, with most Democrats voting present. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) set up the vote to test the Democratic Party’s unity over climate change, knowing many Senate Democrats didn’t want to publicly back the resolution’s ambitious goals.

Now, various supporters of the climate change measure, including Ocasio-Cortez, are focusing on new, smaller bills in an effort to get back on the offensive on climate change heading into 2020.

Advocacy groups that previously gave a full-throated defense of the Green New Deal are also scaling back their push for action on the resolution. Their calls for a House floor vote on the Green New Deal are nonexistent.

The group’s (Sunrise Movement’s) next step is to focus on holding town halls across the country.

On the legislative front, Sunrise is in a holding pattern. The group and other like-minded organizations are waiting on Ocasio-Cortez to present a promised new bill that will include aspects of the Green New Deal.

“Ocasio-Cortez’s office is working on legislation in coming weeks and months,” Stephen O’Hanlon, communications director for Sunrise, told The Hill. “It won’t just be a resolution, it would be a bill that we’d want to pass through Congress that have the principles of the Green New Deal.”

Ocasio-Cortez gave Democratic senators cover to vote present over the controversial resolution Tuesday, saying the GOP was more interested in holding “bluff-votes” for campaign purposes.

The shift in focus from passing the Green New Deal as a whole to advancing smaller bills may gather more support from moderate Democrats in the House, who in the past have criticized the broader plan as wishful thinking and not achievable.

Pelosi has remained noncommittal on holding a floor vote for the Green New Deal resolution. Instead, she promised some climate legislation would be debated soon, mentioning bills that could come from her newly established House Select Committee on Climate Crisis, chaired by Rep. Kathy Castor (D-Fla.).

Castor on Wednesday introduced the Climate Action Now Act, a bill meant to bind the U.S. to its 2015 Paris climate accord commitments and ensure America reduces carbon emissions. It’s expected to be marked up in the near future.

Minority Whip Steve Scalise (La.) on Wednesday introduced the outline of a proposed House Energy Action Team, whose main goal would be to bring up the Green New Deal for a vote in the House, to strike it down.

Various Republicans, meanwhile are introducing plans to counter the Green New Deal. Rep. Matt Gaetz (Fla.) is working on an alternative bill called Green Real Deal.

On the other side of the Capitol, GOP Sens. Mitt Romney (Utah), Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and Lamar Alexander (Tenn.) told The Hill they are all looking into introducing a federal program to incentivize business investment in carbon technologies.

Alexander, who is retiring, said on the Senate floor Monday: “I believe that human emissions are a major cause of climate change.”

He called for a five-year project, on the scale of the nation’s successful effort decades ago to develop the first atomic bomb, to “use American research and technology to put our country and our world firmly on the path toward cleaner, cheaper energy.”  READ MORE

Pelosi, Dems unveil bill to bind Trump to Paris climate accord (The Hill)

Dems push for #ClimateActionNow (Our Daily Planet)

The Energy 202: Democrats try to reset climate debate after Green New Deal defeat (Washington Post; includes VIDEO)

The Energy 202: ‘A political game.’ 2020 Democrats explain why they didn’t vote for Green New Deal (Washington Post)

The Energy 202: ‘Let a thousand climate proposals bloom.’ Lawmakers tee up Green New Deal alternatives (Washington Post)

ALL IN THE TIMING: (Politico’s Morning Energy)

CALIFORNIA GREENS’ ROCKY FIRST MEETING: (Politico’s Morning Energy)

Hickenlooper defends his disapproval of Green New Deal by touting record on climate change (CNN)

John Hickenlooper: The Green New Deal sets us up for failure. We need a better approach. (Washington Post)

The Energy 202: John Kerry: Ocasio-Cortez ‘offered more leadership in one day’ on climate change than Trump ever has (Washington Post)

 

Excerpt from Our Daily Planet: While Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has made it evident that he won’t take the climate crisis seriously, leaders in the House of Representatives, on the other hand, unveiled H.R. 9, the Climate Action Now Act and publically introduced the newly formed Select Committee on the Climate Crisis (check out the committee’s new website here for a list of members and priorities). As Vox reported, the Climate Action Now Act, which aims to keep the United States in the 2015 Paris climate agreement is one of the first 10 bills introduced by the new House majority and will likely come to a vote this year. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said the new bills is “about good-paying green jobs. It’s about advancing our economy and our global pre-eminence in green technology.” The chair of the new select committee,Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL) also explained that the act would “unleash American ingenuity and innovation to power the future.”

Meanwhile, in the U.S. Senate, Democrats launched their own Special Committee on the Climate Crisis which will examine how climate change is affecting our country and the world. Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) will chair the committee, and its members consist of Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Ed Markey (D-MA), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Catherine Cortez-Masto (D-NV), and Tina Smith (D-MN).  READ MORE

 

Excerpt from Politico’s Morning Energy:  ALL IN THE TIMING: Two detailed congressional policy reports expected out before the 2020 party conventions could help the Democratic Party’s eventual presidential nominee fill in the finer details of his or her plans to address climate change, Pro’s Anthony Adragna reports , as none of the dozen declared Democratic candidates have unveiled comprehensive plans on the issue. The Senate Democrats’ new ad-hoc climate committee is aiming to release its report in July 2020, while the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis plans to issue a “comprehensive” report of policy recommendations by next March.

Speaking of: The Democratic National Committee announced it will hold the first presidential debates of the 2020 race in Miami, a city exposed to sea-level rise — making a focus on climate change all the more likely. READ MORE

 

Excerpt from Politico’s Morning Energy:  CALIFORNIA GREENS’ ROCKY FIRST MEETING: California environmental justice groups are sensing an opportunity to take their movement national as part of the ongoing discussion on a Green New Deal, but some say they’re discouraged after initial talks in Washington this month, Pro California’s Debra Kahn reports.

After a three-day meeting convened by New Consensus, a nonprofit affiliated with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, California activists came away feeling that the 60-odd academics, think tank members and “front line” community organizers were receptive to their ideas, Debra writes. But the group was also mired in years-old debates that California has moved beyond, according to Miya Yoshitani, executive director of the Oakland-based Asian Pacific Environmental Network, such as around the use of nuclear power and natural gas — energy sources that many California environmentalists abandoned long ago.

“My take on some of the specific policy questions being posed at this meeting is that people from New Consensus are very ‘green’ — meaning they are really new to this arena,” Yoshitani said in an email. “They are trying to understand some of the questions that seem to be debates in the mainstream about climate policy, without knowing how these policy debates have been largely settled in climate justice circles.” READ MORE

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RJ-4 RJ-6 RME (rape methyl ester) RME180 RNA roadmap rocket fuel Romania RON (Research Octane Number) rotation crops royalties RSF2 RTP (rapid thermal processing) rubber rumen ruminants rural development Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Rural Energy Self-Sufficiency Initiative Russia Russian olive rutabaga Rwanda rye Rye grass s saccharification Safer and Affordable Fuel Efficient Vehicles (SAFE) safety safflower sago sago pond weed SAIC SAK sales Salicornia salt-tolerant saltbush saltcedar sal tree salt water Sanctions Santa Monica sardine oil Saskatchewan Saudi Arabia sawdust scale up Scandinavia scholarships/fellowships Science Advisory Board (SAB) Science Policy Scotland scum sea level rise seashore mallow seawater Seaweed/Macroalgae seaweed cultivation Section 526 Securiti Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) seed husks Senegal Serbia sesame sewage Seychelles shale gas shale oil sheep shipping shipping containers shipworm Sierra Leone silica Silphie/cup plant/Indian cup 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