Quantcast
Politics
Sunrise Movement / Justice Democrats / Twitter

Climate Leader Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Joins Hundreds of Activists in Pelosi’s Office to Call for a Green New Deal

One of the most ambitious environmental ideas to gain popularity during the midterm elections was the idea of a Green New Deal—a massive national mobilization to transition the U.S. economy away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy while creating green jobs and infrastructure.


Only four newly-elected Democratic Congresspeople endorsed the idea in their campaigns, including upstart progressive Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, but climate activists are building a movement to make it a legislative priority. To that end, more than 200 protesters, including Ocasio-Cortez herself, staged a sit-in at Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi's office Tuesday calling on her to support the measure, Politico reported.

"This morning 100s of young people came together to ask us as elected officials to act urgently to draft a Green New Deal that gets us to 100% renewable energy ASAP," Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. "They asked me to join them, and I did. We can embrace the energy of activism to move our party's goals forward."

In a statement, Pelosi asked that Capital Police allow demonstrators "to continue to organize and participate in our democracy," but activists tweeted that around 50 were arrested outside her office and Capitol Police confirmed the number of arrests as 51, Politico reported.

The action was organized by two groups: The Sunrise Movement, which describes itself as "building an army of young people to stop climate change" and Justice Democrats, which works to diminish the influence of large corporations on the party. Their actions come with a true sense of urgency. On its website, the Sunrise Movement cites the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report that says we have 12 years to radically reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. They are also young people worried about what this means for their future.

"They offer us a death sentence. We demand a #GreenNewDeal," the activists tweeted as they announced their action.

Pelosi herself tweeted support for the protesters, but came up short of endorsing a Green New Deal.

"The climate crisis threatens the futures of communities nationwide, and I strongly support reinstating the select committee to address the crisis,," Pelosi tweeted, referencing an idea she had floated after her party retook the House last week.

Ocasio-Cortez responded with a very specific vision for what that committee should do. Instead of just discussing climate change, it should be empowered to draft a Green New Deal plan by 2020 and be staffed with officials who do not take money from fossil fuel companies.

Ocasio-Cortez and the Sunrise Movement are circulating a resolution to that end among House Democrats and asking them to endorse it. So far Representatives Rashida Tlaib, Ro Khanna and Deb Haaland, one of the first two Native American women elected to Congress, have signed on.

If you want to add your name to the push to make a Green New Deal a major priority for the House Democrats, the Sunrise Movement is also circulating a petition.

Show Comments ()

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Sponsored
Health
PxHere

This Common Preservative in Processed Food May Be Making You Tired

By Brian Mastroianni

Is it hard to motivate yourself to get off the couch and go exercise?

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
MarioGuti / iStock / Getty Images

EVs 101: Your Guide to Electric Vehicles

By Patrick Rogers

If you have ever considered making the switch to an environmentally friendly electric vehicle, don't drag your feet. Though EV prices are falling, and states are unveiling more and more public charging stations and plug-in-ready parking spots, the federal government is doing everything it can to slam the brakes on our progress away from gas-burning internal combustion engines. President Trump, likely pressured by his allies in the fossil fuel industry, has threatened to end the federal tax credits that have already helped put hundreds of thousands of EVs on the road—a move bound to harm not only our environment but our economy, too. After all, the manufacturing and sale of EVs, hybrids, and plug-in hybrids supported 197,000 jobs in 2017, according to the most recent U.S. Energy and Employment Report.

Keep reading... Show less
Animals
An adult bush dog, part of a captive breeding program. Hudson Garcia

A Rescue Dog Is Now Helping to Save Other (Much Wilder) Dogs

By Jason Bittel

Formidable predators stalk the forests between Panama and northern Argentina. They are sometimes heard but never seen. They are small but feisty and have even been documented trying to take down a tapir, which can top out at nearly 400 pounds. Chupacabras? No.

Keep reading... Show less
Health
RoNeDya / iStock / Getty Images

What Is Mead, and Is It Good for You?

By Ansley Hill, RD, LD

Mead is a fermented beverage traditionally made from honey, water and a yeast or bacterial culture.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Climate
U.S. Army member helps clear debris from Tyndall Air Force Base following Hurricane Michael. U.S. Army

Pentagon: Climate Change Is Real and a 'National Security Issue'

The Pentagon released a Congressionally mandated report (pdf) that warns flooding, drought and wildfires and other effects of climate change puts U.S. military bases at risk.

The 22-page analysis states plainly: "The effects of a changing climate are a national security issue with potential impacts to Department of Defense (DoD or the Department) missions, operational plans, and installations."

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
Protesters interrupt the confirmation hearing for Andrew Wheeler on Capitol Hill Jan. 16 in Washington, DC. Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

5 People Calling Out EPA Acting Head Wheeler for Putting Polluters First

This week, people across the country are joining environmental leaders to speak out against the nomination of former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler to lead the the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). As Scott Pruitt's hand-picked successor, Wheeler has continued to put polluters over people, most recently by using the last of his agency's funding before it expired in the government shutdown to announce plans to allow power plants to spew toxic mercury and other hazardous pollution into the air.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Popular
Great white shark. Elias Levy / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Marine Biologists Raise Flags About Viral Great White Shark Encounter

By now you might have seen Ocean Ramsey's rare and jaw-dropping encounter with a great white shark in waters near Oahu, Hawaii.

Ramsey, a marine biologist, said on the TODAY Show that it was "absolutely breathtaking and heart-melting" to be approached by the massive marine mammal.

Keep reading... Show less
A tree found severed in half in an act of vandalism in Joshua Tree National Park. Gina Ferazzi / Los AngelesTimes / Getty Images

Wall Before Country Takes Mounting Toll on Americans Everywhere

By Rhea Suh

One month on, the longest and most senseless U.S. government shutdown in history is taking a grave and growing toll on the environment and public health.

Food inspectors have been idled or are working without pay, increasing the risk we'll get sick from eating produce, meat and poultry that isn't properly checked. National parks and public wilderness lands are overrun by vandals, overtaken by off-road joyriders, and overflowing with trash. Federal testing of air and water quality, as well as monitoring of pollution levels from factories, incinerators and other sources, is on hold or sharply curtailed. Citizen input on critical environmental issues is being hindered. Vital research and data collection are being sidelined.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

mail-copy

The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!