On Friday Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued a statement appointing Congresswoman Kathy Castor (D-FL) to a new select committee formed to combat the climate crisis. Progressive has responded in outrage, calling the committee a “weak” alternative to a bolder Green New Deal Select Committee.
Progressive advocacy group Justice Democrats said that instead of fighting for a #GreenNewDeal, Democrats are pushing for a committee that will have no subpoena power, will allow electeds to take fossil fuel money, and has no goals for mass economic mobilization matching UN recommendations.
The Sunrise Movement, the youth-led climate justice group that put forth the idea of a Green New Deal, believes that the Democrats move away from a Green New Deal towards this new select committee “would be a dereliction of duty from Nancy Pelosi and Democratic leadership.”
“Without a mandate to create a plan and a requirement that its members don’t take fossil fuel money, we are deeply concerned that this committee will be just another of the many committees we’ve seen failing our generation our entire lives,” Sunrise Movement co-founder Varshini Prakash declared.
According to Common Dreams, this new select committee is simply a revival of an old climate panel but has even less authority than its predecessor.
Pelosi has come under heavy fire in the last few weeks for her “lack of moral clarity and courage” for moving to kill any Green New Deal committee.
Critics of the new committee believe that its lack of power will keep the committee from being capable of compelling fossil fuel executives to testify and turn over key documents. Some believe that the new committee is a farce and will only serve to conduct hearings:
If this committee starts having a bunch of hearings on how climate change is Really Real and is Actually a Threat, I'm going to lose my friggin' mind. https://t.co/ZZwaE6QfjJ
— David Roberts (@drvox) December 28, 2018
Rep. Kathy Castor, who has been appointed to lead the select committee, has a strong environmental record but is not one of the 43 House members who has pledged to back a select committee for a Green New Deal.
Progressives believe that only a bold Green New Deal, aiming to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions through radical changes to the economy and environmental policies, will produce the required results to save the planet from climate destruction.
Although the Sunrise Movement and other groups have reached out to Pelosi and other Democratic leaders to see if they plan to approve a separate select committee on a Green New Deal, they have so far received no response.