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senate Bill S. Res. 59

Should the Senate Call for a ‘Green New Deal’ to Fight Climate Change and Income Inequality?

Argument in favor

Climate change and income inequality are two of the greatest threats facing America. Enacting a massive transformation of our society like this Green New Deal is the best way to achieve that, not only through cutting emissions, investing in clean energy, and upgrading infrastructure but by guaranteeing economic security for all Americans — particularly those from vulnerable communities. This may be a non-binding resolution, but its passage would be a positive step toward the realization of a Green New Deal.

jimK's Opinion
···
07/06/2019
We need to start NOW. The Earth is finite and will increasingly become unable to support our worlds population. This is a much bigger deal than petty politics and jockeying for our positions in the world order. The economic impact will only become greater the longer we wait. It is time to muster available resources, American ingenuity and world alliances. Ignoring this problem now only makes the economic and humanitarian costs increasingly greater and more horrific. We need an internationally concerted effort to mitigate, diminish and/or hopefully reverse the increasingly dangerous consequences of climate change. Putting our heads in the sand and hoping it just goes away does not work. Will it be tough? YES. Will it be expensive? YES. Will it require radical shifting of government priorities and institutions? YES. Can we wait any longer to get started.? NO WE CANNOT. I love my grandchildren and do not want to see them suffer the consequences of our countries inability to act.
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···
02/24/2019
The recent IPCC report made 2 things clear: fighting climate change will take herculean efforts in a very short time (and that won't even fix the problem), and that those who will be the most harmed are those with the least resources. Now is the time to
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02/10/2019
WE need to build a future....we are going to have none. Trump has turned us into a backwards looking laughing stock...when we SHOULD BE LEADING IN THIS AREA!
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Argument opposed

The Green New Deal suggested by this resolution is a massive transformation of our society that comes with tremendous costs. It sets unrealistic goals like eliminating all energy derived from fossil fuel & nuclear power while upgrading or replacing every building in America over the course of a decade. Beyond fantastical environmental goals, it also calls for fundamentally expanding the role of government by calling for guaranteed family-wage jobs for all. Alternatively, this bill is non-binding and wouldn’t make any real progress in achieving its stated goals.

ChoateRB's Opinion
···
02/08/2019
With our economy booming, energy independence looming and jobs so much more available, why would anyone support this obvious reach for power. As an outline for action, this smacks of the beginning of authoritarian rule and economic ruin. No government that has tried socialism has been exceptionally successful. We were born in the quest for liberty and must not step backwards now.
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Ryan's Opinion
···
04/05/2019
This whole thing is a fraud to bankrupt the country.
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samiam6's Opinion
···
02/20/2019
These things are not related. 1 bill, 1 law. Wise up.
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simple resolution Progress


  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Environment and Public Works
    IntroducedFebruary 7th, 2019

What is Senate Bill S. Res. 59?

This resolution would express the non-binding sense of the Senate the House that it’s the federal government’s duty to create a Green New Deal that aims to combat climate change and income inequality over the course of a decade. The Green New Deal would aim to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions, require all U.S. power demand to be met through renewable sources, upgrade all existing buildings in the U.S. to maximize energy efficiency standards that’d also apply to new buildings, and promote “justice and equity” for certain groups of people. A breakdown of the policies the resolution would support including in a Green New Deal can be found below.

The Green New Deal mobilization would aim to accomplish a number of goals within a 10-year timeframe:

  • Meeting 100% of U.S. power demand through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources by expanding and upgrading existing renewable power and deploying new capacity.

  • Upgrading all existing buildings in the U.S. and requiring all new buildings to meet standards maximal energy efficiency, water efficiency, safety, affordability, comfort, and durability (including through electrification).

  • Eliminating pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the agriculture sector as much as technologically possible by supporting family farming, investing in sustainable land use practices, and building a “more sustainable food system that ensures universal access to healthy food”.

  • Eliminating pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector as much as technologically possible by investing in zero-emission vehicle infrastructure & manufacturing, public transportation, and high-speed rail.

  • Upgrading infrastructure by guaranteeing universal access to clean water, reducing risks posed by flooding, and ensuring that any infrastructure bill considered by Congress addresses climate change.

  • Building resilience against climate-change related disasters by leveraging funding for community-defined projects and strategies, in addition to developing smart power grids and ensuring affordable access to electricity.

The resolution would call for the Green New Deal to be developed through “transparent and inclusive consultation with frontline and vulnerable communities, labor unions, worker cooperatives, civil society groups, academia, and businesses.” Further, the resolution adds that a Green New Deal mobilization would require the following projects and goals to be achieved:

  • Leveraging capital, technical expertise, supporting policies, and other forms of assistance to community organizations, government agencies at the federal, state, and local level, and businesses involved in the mobilization.

  • Ensuring the federal government takes into account the complete environmental and social costs and impacts of policies.

  • Providing “resources, training, and high-quality education, including higher education, to all people of the United State, with a focus on frontline and vulnerable communities”.

  • Guaranteeing a job “with a family sustaining wage, adequate family and medical leave, paid vacations, and retirement security to all people of the U.S.”;

  • Ensuring that the Green New Deal mobilization creates “high-quality union jobs that pay prevailing wages, hires local workers, offers training and advancement opportunities, and guarantees wage and benefit parity for workers affected by the transition”.

  • Strengthening and enforcing labor, workplace health and safety, anti-discrimination, and wage and hour standards across all employers, industries, and sectors.

  • Making a public investment in the research and development of new clean and renewable energy technologies and industries.

  • Ensuring the use of democratic and participatory processes that are inclusive of and led by frontline and vulnerable communities and workers to plan, implement, and administer the Green New Deal mobilization.

Among the frontline and vulnerable communities this bill would seek to protect against “exacerbated systemic racial, regional, social, environmental, and economic injustices” are: “indigenous communities, communities of color, migrant communities, deindustrialized communities, depopulated rural communities, the poor, low-income workers, women, the elderly, the unhoused, people with disabilities, and youth”.

As a simple resolution, this non-binding legislation wouldn’t advance beyond the Senate if passed.

Impact

The Senate.

Cost of Senate Bill S. Res. 59

As a non-binding resolution, this bill would have no cost.

More Information

In-Depth: Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) introduced this bill to call for the federal government to create a Green New Deal that would aim to combat climate change and income inequality, saying in a press conference:

“The sun is setting on the dirty energy of the past. Today marks the dawn of a new era of climate action. A Green New Deal is about jobs, and it is about justice. It would be the greatest blue-collar jobs program in a generation and repair the historic oppression of frontline and vulnerable communities that have born the worst burdens of our fossil fuel economy, all while saving the planet. Our Green New Deal resolution outlines a historic ten-year mobilization that will mitigate climate emissions and build climate resiliency. We can create high-quality jobs and enforce labor standards, guarantee rights to retirement security and healthcare, and conduct inclusive decisionmaking in this Green New Deal.”

The House cosponsor of the Green New Deal resolution, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) published and removed a FAQ about the legislation (though a since-edited version is still available via NPR) that offered broader context about several aspects of the plan, including:

  • Explaining why the Green New Deal goal would be net-zero greenhouse gas emissions instead of zero emissions, the FAQ stated “because we aren’t sure that we’ll be able to fully get rid of farting cows and airplanes that fast.”

  • To reduce emissions, the FAQ suggested investing in “highspeed rail at a scale where air travel stops becoming necessary.”

  • The FAQ explained that nuclear energy would be eliminated alongside energy from fossil fuels within the 10-year scope of the Green New Deal mobilization.

  • The FAQ explained that the federal government would guarantee “economic security to all who are unable or unwilling to work.”

  • Explaining how the federal government would pay for the Green New Deal, the FAQ stated: “The same way we paid for the New Deal, the 2008 bank bailout and extended quantitative easing programs. The same way we paid for World War II and all our current wars. The Federal Reserve can extend credit to power these projects and investments and new public banks can be created to extend credit. There is also space for the government to take an equity stake in projects to get a return on investment. At the end of the day, this is an investment in our economy that should grow our wealth as a nation, so the question isn’t how will we pay for it, but what will we do with our new shared prosperity.”

Some have expressed skepticism about this Green New Deal plan including Obama administration energy secretary Ernest Moniz, who called the plan “impractical” in an interview with NPR, adding “I’m afraid I just cannot see how we could possibly go to zero carbon in the 10-year timeframe.” And Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) said that efforts to eliminate air travel “would be pretty hard for Hawaii,” while a Democratic leadership aide told the New York Times that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) isn’t planning to bring the House resolution up for a vote.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) “noted with great interest the Green New Deal” and said he’ll bring it up for a vote in the Senate to “give everybody an opportunity to go on record and see how they feel about the Green New Deal.” To that end, McConnell introduced a version of the Green New Deal that contains the same legislative language as the House and Senate resolutions offered by Democrats as a joint resolution so that it could advance from one chamber to the other and eventually reach the president’s desk.

This legislation has the support of 11 cosponsors in the Senate, all of whom caucus as Democrats. The list includes several including several possible contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020 such as Sens. Kamala Harris (CA), Cory Booker (NJ), Elizabeth Warren (MA), Kirsten Gillibrand (NY), Amy Klobuchar (MN), and Bernie Sanders (VT).


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: iStock.com / Airbuon)

AKA

A resolution recognizing the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal.

Official Title

A resolution recognizing the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal.

    We need to start NOW. The Earth is finite and will increasingly become unable to support our worlds population. This is a much bigger deal than petty politics and jockeying for our positions in the world order. The economic impact will only become greater the longer we wait. It is time to muster available resources, American ingenuity and world alliances. Ignoring this problem now only makes the economic and humanitarian costs increasingly greater and more horrific. We need an internationally concerted effort to mitigate, diminish and/or hopefully reverse the increasingly dangerous consequences of climate change. Putting our heads in the sand and hoping it just goes away does not work. Will it be tough? YES. Will it be expensive? YES. Will it require radical shifting of government priorities and institutions? YES. Can we wait any longer to get started.? NO WE CANNOT. I love my grandchildren and do not want to see them suffer the consequences of our countries inability to act.
    Like (16)
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    YES, YES SIR, YES MAM!
    Like (2)
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    WE need to build a future....we are going to have none. Trump has turned us into a backwards looking laughing stock...when we SHOULD BE LEADING IN THIS AREA!
    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
    The recent IPCC report made 2 things clear: fighting climate change will take herculean efforts in a very short time (and that won't even fix the problem), and that those who will be the most harmed are those with the least resources. Now is the time to
    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
    With our economy booming, energy independence looming and jobs so much more available, why would anyone support this obvious reach for power. As an outline for action, this smacks of the beginning of authoritarian rule and economic ruin. No government that has tried socialism has been exceptionally successful. We were born in the quest for liberty and must not step backwards now.
    Like (1)
    Follow
    Share
    Our planet is dying and we are the cause. Scientists have already said we have a limited amount of time before the damage is too much
    Like (1)
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    I fear the day I have to look my daughter in thee eyes as she asks me Why did generations before me let this happen!!!
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    Climate change is a serious threat and needs to be treated like one. From what I heard this bill has a wide range of necessary steps to address the issue of climate change and begin to mitigate the damage. It is time that people face the reality that climate change is a serious threat that kill many people in time and needs to be addressed swiftly. This bill has some good first steps to deal with the issue.
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    It is absolutely vital for us to address climate change immediately. We only have one planet, and we are making it uninhabitable for ourselves. I fear having children because i can’t imagine the world will be safe for them.
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    It is time to act on climate change solutions. The green new deal proposed by Representative Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Wyden is not only common sense, but it is practical and will improve the global climate and US economy for generations. Climate change is a complex problem and needs a multi-faceted solution. This is it and I am disappointed to see that you have no cosponsored this legislation in the Senate. I urge you, protect the future, act now. Vote yes.
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    This is a no-brainer! We must act now to protect our environment for all living things and for our future generations. We have a responsibility to make good choices now before things get any worse.
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    We should endorse and then do more. The Green New Deal is is a non binding agreement. Climate change - and the climate chaos that follows - is an existential crisis for the human race. It’s more ambitious than other things on the table since it’s a real humanitarian take, but non binding is a really low bar to hit when we have (conservatively) 12 years according to the UN report. Less optimistic reports say closer to 5 years (because once polar ice melts and the water warms, the ice will no longer be able to refereeze the way it would today, limiting the effectiveness of any mitigation we do after that point). A -non binding- resolution is a pretty low bar, given the circumstances. Think 7 generations - are you sure humankind will last 7 more generations? I am not. I am concerned for my children, and the world they will inherit. It is time for a BIG change. Ambitious policies like the Green New Deal are a good start!
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    This whole thing is a fraud to bankrupt the country.
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    REPOST Senate Bill S. Res. 59 Should the Senate Call for a ‘Green New Deal’ to Fight Climate Change and Income Inequality? YEA NAY Argument in favor Climate change and income inequality are two of the greatest threats facing America. Enacting a massive transformation of our society like this Green New Deal is the best way to achieve that, not only through cutting emissions, investing in clean energy, and upgrading infrastructure but by guaranteeing economic security for all Americans — particularly those from vulnerable communities. This may be a non-binding resolution, but its passage would be a positive step toward the realization of a Green New Deal.
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    These things are not related. 1 bill, 1 law. Wise up.
    Like
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    This is our only home, folks, either we take care of it or we are toast.
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