Six-hundred twenty-six organizations, some of them major environmental groups, sent a letter to Members of the House of Representatives on January 10th that details their demands for what must and must not be included in a Green New Deal. The list is a doozy, but is no more radical than much of the rhetoric coming from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and her freshman allies in Congress.
Here are the highlights. First, keep it in the ground by halting all fossil fuel leasing on federal lands and offshore areas; halting all permitting of fossil-fuel power plants, pipelines, and other infrastructure projects; banning fossil-fuel exports; and ending “massive, irrational subsidies” for fossil fuels and nuclear energy, waste incineration, and biomass energy.
Second, “the United States must shift to 100% renewable power by 2035 or earlier.” Large-scale hydro-electric power, biomass, and waste-to-energy do not qualify.
Third, public transport using renewable power only must be vastly expanded; sales of vehicles powered by gas and diesel engines must be banned as quickly as possible; and all such vehicles must be off the roads by 2040 at the latest. Of course, “federal credits for electric vehicles must be expanded.”
Fourth, Congress should “harness the full power of the Clean Air Act.” I’m not sure what more can be done to turn the economy upside down, but I may be missing something.
Fifth, this must be a “just transition.” This will require “support for communities who (sic) have historically been harmed first and most by the dirty energy economy,” as well as “retrofitting millions of buildings to conserve energy” and “actively restoring natural ecosystems.”
Sixth, the rights of indigenous peoples must be fully protected, although it’s not clear whether Native Americans will be allowed to develop coal, oil, and natural gas resources on their lands. My guess is they’ll be able to apply for compensation.
Finally, the Green New Deal must not protect fossil fuel producers from legal liability and cannot include “market-based mechanisms and technology options such as carbon and emissions trading and offsets, [or] carbon capture and storage.”
It should be called the Back to the Dark Ages Manifesto.