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Ocasio-Cortez Becomes Most Ambitious Climate Democrat After Surprise Primary Win
After what CNN called a surprise primary victory Tuesday over 10-term incumbent Representative Joe Crowley in New York's 14th congressional district, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez just became the leading Democrat on fighting climate change, The Huffington Post reported.
Ocasio-Cortez, a 28 year old Democratic Socialist, is now likely to win November's general election in the historically Democratic district that stretches from the Bronx to Queens, meaning she will join Congress with some of the most ambitious climate plans of any current representative, according to The Huffington Post.
In an email to The Huffington Post, she explained her plans for a Green New Deal to help America switch to 100 percent renewable energy by 2035, which advocates say is our best shot of keeping warming below 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels.
"The Green New Deal we are proposing will be similar in scale to the mobilization efforts seen in World War II or the Marshall Plan," she wrote. "We must again invest in the development, manufacturing, deployment, and distribution of energy, but this time green energy."
Ocasio-Cortez's climate plans dovetail with some of the other progressive points on her platform, such as a Federal Jobs Guarantee and Solidarity with Puerto Rico following the devastation of Hurricane Maria.
Ocasio-Cortez told The Huffington Post that the island would be the ideal place to test-run a Green New Deal to help with recovery efforts.
"Our fellow Americans on the island have suffered horrendous losses and need investment at a scale that only the American government can provide," she said.
On her platform, Ocasio-Cortez also links the fight against climate change with her commitments to economic justice and immigrant rights.
"Rather than continue a dependency on this system that posits climate change as inherent to economic life, the Green New Deal believes that radically addressing climate change is a potential path towards a more equitable economy with increased employment and widespread financial security for all," her platform reads.
Her platform also says fighting climate change is necessary "to avoid a world refugee crisis." Concern for immigrants is a large part of her platform. She supports abolishing the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) which was created in 2003 in the post-9/11 escalation of national security operations and executive power and operates outside the Department of Justice, unlike previous immigration enforcement.
The link between the potential for global warming to increase the number of climate refugees and the need to improve the treatment of current immigrants, many of which are already fleeing deteriorating environmental conditions, is something picked up by the Democratic Socialists of America, the group to which Ocasio-Cortez belongs, on the platform for its climate and environmental justice working group, according to The Huffington Post.
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Ethics investigations have been opened into the conduct of senior Trump appointees at the nation's top environmental agencies.
The two investigations focus on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Andrew Wheeler and six high-ranking officials in the Department of Interior (DOI), The Hill reported Tuesday. Both of them involve the officials' former clients or employers.
"This is demonstrative of the failures at the very top of this administration to set an ethical tone," Campaign Legal Center Ethics Counsel Delaney Marsco told The Washington Post of the DOI investigation. "When people come to work for government, they're supposed to work on behalf of the public. It's a betrayal of the public trust when senior political appointees seem to give privileged access to their former employers or former clients."
By Dipika Kadaba
We've known for more than 50 years that smoking cigarettes comes with health hazards, but it turns out those discarded butts are harmful for the environment, too. Filtered cigarette butts, although small, contain dozens of chemicals, including arsenic and benzene. These toxins can leach into the ground or water, creating a potentially deadly situation for nearby birds, fish and other wildlife.
By Wenonah Hauter
Five years ago this week, an emergency manager appointed by then-Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder made the devastating decision to save money by switching Flint's water supply over from Detroit's water system to the Flint River. Seen as a temporary fix, the new water supply was not properly treated. High levels of lead leached from the old pipes, poisoning a generation of Flint's children, and bacteria responsible for an outbreak of Legionnaires' Disease killed more than a dozen residents.
Did you know that more than a third of food is wasted or thrown away every year? And that only 25 percent of it would be enough to feed the 795 million undernourished people in the world? That's why today is Stop Food Waste Day, a chance to reflect on what you can do to waste less of the food you buy.