Leading Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives announced a plan Tuesday to introduce a new, more conservative alternative to the “Green New Deal,” the plan introduced earlier this year to great fanfare by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY).
The original bill, proposed by Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) in February, calls for “meeting 100 percent of the power demand in the United States through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy source” through a “10-year national mobilization” — i.e. roughly by the year 2030. Ocasio-Cortez has also suggested the world only has 12 years before reaching a point of no return before the problem climate change becomes impossible to solve.
The new proposal to be backed by Democrat leadership, however, will set the goal as 2050 — twenty years later, according to The Hill. It also assumes that 2050 is the point of no return — not sometime in the next 12 years.
The new proposal echoes early criticisms of the Green New Deal, such as those offered by former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, who said the party needed a plan that was more practical. “I’m a little bit tired of listening to things that are pie in the sky, that we never are going to pass or never are going to afford,” he said at the time, as quoted by the Washington Examiner.
The Hill quotes Democratic members of the Energy and Commerce Committee not-so-subtly criticizing Ocasio-Cortez’s plan. Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY), for example, said: “We can do any kind of whimsical thing but we have to do this in a way that includes conversations with stakeholders, their buy-in and their involvement in a consensus bill.”
It is not clear the party can walk back early support for the Green New Deal. The original Green New Deal legislation was co-sponsored by 94 House Democrats, and by 12 Senate Democrats — including all of the Senate’s presidential contenders: Sens. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Amy Kloubuchar (D-MN), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).
Earlier this year, Ocasio-Cortez tweeted that there was no “middle ground” on climate change. She was responding to reports that former vice president Joe Biden was looking for compromise on the issue.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.