Merkley, Wyden join colleagues to introduce Green New Deal resolution

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s U.S. Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden today joined Senator Edward J. Markey (D-MA) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY 14) to introduced a Green New Deal resolution in both the Senate and House of Representatives that would create millions of good, high-wage jobs in the United States; provide unprecedented levels of prosperity and economic security for Americans; and counteract systemic injustices—all while addressing the existential challenge of climate change.

“There is an imperative to curb carbon pollution to save our way of life—and there is an opportunity in this transition that we can’t afford to miss,”Merkley said. “For too long, we have seen inequality soar, social injustices fester, worker protections and labor unions erode, and wages stagnate. As the rich and privileged consolidate power, our communities struggle for clean, safe water, to access quality health care, to afford education, and to recover from more common and powerful natural disasters.  We must fundamentally change our economy to support workers, communities that have long been denied economic opportunity, and our rural economies that have been left behind.”

“The climate crisis cannot be ignored. It’s here, it’s happening, and its impacts are already devastating communities,” Wyden said. “The Green New Deal resolution sends a powerful message that it’s time for Congress to kick America’s carbon habit. A failure to act spells dire consequences for the health and safety of our families, our economy, and the future of our planet.”

Recent landmark studies such as the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Special Report and the U.S. National Climate Assessment Fourth Report have made it clear that we need bold action to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, and we may have as few as 12 years to achieve it. The extreme weather, storms, droughts, and wildfires of recent years have made the worsening effects of climate change impossible to ignore.

The Green New Deal Resolution lays out the goals and projects for a 10-year national mobilization to:

·         build resiliency against climate change-related disasters;

·         repair and upgrade U.S. infrastructure; 

·         meet 100 percent of our power demand through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources;

·         build or upgrade to energy-efficient, distributed and “smart” power grids;

·         upgrade all existing U.S. buildings and build new buildings, to achieve maximum energy efficiency;

·         spur massive growth in clean U.S. manufacturing and remove pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from manufacturing and industry;

·         work with farmers and ranchers to remove pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the agriculture sector; 

·         overhaul U.S. transportation systems;

·         remove greenhouse gases and reduce pollution, including by restoring our natural ecosystems through proven low-tech solutions;

·         restore and protect threatened, endangered, and fragile ecosystems;

·         clean up existing hazardous waste and abandoned sites;

·         make the United States the international leader on climate action and help other countries achieve a Green New Deal

The Green New Deal outlines the principles and requirements to guide this mobilization, including ensuring democratic processes and a fair and just transition for all workers. It also includes the goals of guaranteeing that all members of society can have a job with a family-sustaining wage and are provided with high-quality health care; affordable, safe, and adequate housing; economic security; and access to a clean environment.

Organizations endorsing the legislation include: Sierra Club, SEIU 1199, 32BJ, Sunrise, Justice Democrats, Working Families Party, People’s Action, Center for Popular Democracy, Justice First, Dream Corps / Green For All, 350.org, CREDO Action, Indivisible, Demos, Honor the Earth, Labor Network for Sustainability, National Domestic Workers Alliance, Organic Consumers Association, Presente.org, and League of Conservation Voters (LCV).

Additional co-sponsors of the Green New Deal resolution include Senators, Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Chris Murphy (D-CT).

A copy of the resolution can be found HERE.