Former Secretary of State John Kerry dismissed criticism of the Green New Deal, telling naysayers its proponent, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), had already shown more leadership on the matter than President Donald Trump.
Kerry delivered his rebuke of the GOP’s inaction on the environment to Rep. James Comer (R-K.Y.). Comer questioned whether there was a reasonable way for the U.S. to afford the ideas entailed in the resolution, which was introduced by Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) in February.
“There are a lot of different proposals about how to proceed,” Kerry said Tuesday during a House Oversight Committee hearing. “I don’t know that any of them are coming from your party or your side of the aisle.”
Kerry added that his “focus is on how we’re going to move forward” despite varying positions on legislation, adding that regardless of differences among politicians, “Ocasio-Cortez has in fact offered more leadership in one day or in one week than President Trump has in his lifetime on the subject.”
Thanking Kerry for his remarks shortly after his testimony, Ocasio-Cortez tweeted that she was “honored and humbled.”
The GND, as it’s called, is an ambitious, multi-pronged approach to climate change that seeks to drastically cut greenhouse gas emissions while also rectifying racial injustice, spurring job creation, improving public transit, and providing affordable housing in addition to a host of other initiatives.
However, the question of how a plan like that would be financed has so far gone without a concrete answer.
Nonetheless, it has gained some momentum among Democratic presidential candidates including Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Kamala Harris (Calif.), Amy Klobuchar (Minn.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), all of whom are listed as its co-sponsors.
Meanwhile, certain Republicans have attempted to turn the GND into a caricature of itself, exaggeratedly claiming that it would rid the nation of cows and shut down air travel.
Those rumors largely stemmed from two “Frequently Asked Questions” documents on the resolution that read, “We set a goal to get to net-zero, rather than zero emissions, in 10 years because we aren’t sure that we’ll be able to fully get rid of farting cows and airplanes that fast.”
However, banishing cows or airplanes is not mentioned in the actual resolution.
As for the FAQ, it emphasized the development of railways in an effort to one day render planes unnecessary, and it also looks to embrace more sustainable agricultural initiatives.
The latter would likely involve scaling back on livestock, which, according to a 2011 United Nations report, produce methane that contributes to almost 40 percent of greenhouse gasses from the agricultural industry.