Burlington Free Press: Rep. Peter Welch joins Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in addressing job creation, climate change
Vermont Representative Peter Welch tweeted his support for a measure to push job creation and environmental sustainability — a plan championed by one of the Democratic Party's youngest rising stars.
The proposal backed by Representative-Elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York has been termed the "Green New Deal." The name references President Franklin D. Roosevelt's initiatives during the 1930s to restore jobs to American workers and help the country get back on its feet after the 1929 stock market crash.
Ocasio-Cortez focused in on this plan during a Climate Change Town Hall hosted by Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.
She has been an avid supporter of environmental reform and is moving forward with a plan to tackle the issue. The goals of the plan involve:
- Moving the nation's economy toward carbon neutrality
- Reducing its greenhouse gas emissions
- Promoting "economic and environmental justice and equality"
A 15-person select committee tasked with creating the plan must do so by the start of 2020. The committee has 90 days to finish the plan's draft legislation after creating the plan, with a cutoff of March 1, 2020.
Once the plan is in motion, its objectives are set to be completed in 10 years.
- The expansion of "existing renewable power sources" as part of a push to use entirely renewable energy for the country's power
- Getting rid of greenhouse gas emissions from industries like agriculture and manufacturing and increasing investments to reduce the nation's emissions
- Exporting green technology and knowledge, eventually aiding other nations in becoming "greenhouse gas neutral economies"
- Moving industrial and residential buildings toward energy efficiency
The plan calls for the committee to develop the plan and create draft legislation pertaining to its enactment. The committee can conduct studies and gather other relevant information, and — if it chooses —report findings to the U.S. House.
The outline for the plan details the impact it can have on the nation's economy, describing it as "a historic opportunity to virtually eliminate poverty in the United States and to make prosperity, wealth and economic security available to everyone participating in the transformation."
Specifically, the plan intends to take measures like:
- Offering education and training for individuals "to be a full and equal participant in the transition", as well as a job guarantee program for those interested
- Diversifying economies for the well-being of employees as the plan is executed — namely those in areas where the fossil fuel industry is a large player in the economy
- Working with labor unions to help in areas like job training
- Offering programs to benefit employees, including health care, "to promote economic security, labor market flexibility and entrepreneurism"
- Guaranteeing investment is fairly distributed to communities that need it (based on income, systemic poverty, marginalization, etc.) to create wealth