At a time of widespread environmental devastation, much of the U.S. political establishment appears allergic to large-scale public projects that would solve the climate crisis through directly challenging the economic status quo.
This attitude was perhaps best encapsulated by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s glib mockery of the Green New Deal plan laid out Thursday morning by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.). In an interview with Politico, Pelosi referred to the proposal as “the green dream or whatever they call it.” She went on to suggest that the plan had not been thought through, saying, “nobody knows what it is, but they’re for it, right?”
Pelosi is not the only lawmaker who is reflexively resistant to the plan. There is the predictable opposition from Republicans, including Rep. John Shimkus (Ill.), the ranking member on the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change. He said at a hearing Wednesday, “We should be open to the fact that wealth transfer schemes suggested in the radical policies like the Green New Deal may not be the best path to community prosperity and preparedness.”
Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO), meanwhile, turned to red-baiting, saying the Green New Deal “sounds too much like a Soviet five-year plan.” Lamborn’s critique echoed President Trump, who warned in his State of the Union (SOTU) speech on Tuesday that “in the United States, we are alarmed by new calls to adopt socialism in our country. America was founded on liberty and independence—not government coercion, domination and control.”