Nov 15, 2019 - Energy & Environment

Filling in the blanks on the Green New Deal

Illustration of a fist tightly clenching a wind turbine

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) on Thursday unveiled a 10-year plan to spend up to $180 billion to decarbonize and overhaul the nation's public housing.

Why it matters: The lawmakers are calling the proposed bill the first attempt from Green New Deal sponsors to begin adding legislative details to the sweeping concept.

  • These aren't just random legislators: Sanders is a top-tier Democratic candidate for the White House, and Ocasio-Cortez is a popular and influential figure in progressive circles.
  • White House hopeful Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who at times has challenged former Vice President Joe Biden for the lead in the primary race, is a co-sponsor.

How it works: The far-reaching plan envisions grants for efficiency overhauls and renewable energy use; workforce development; improved water quality; construction of community and childcare centers; recycling; improved transportation access and more.

The big picture: It's very Green New Deal-y.

  • The plan combines big investments (beyond what's likely to pass), an aggressive timeline and a multi-topic focus that extends beyond climate into economic and social justice realms.
  • On that last point, it emphasizes housing rights and needs, job training, and a "sustainable safety net." Plus, it calls for tenant leadership and job production to play a role in the overhaul itself.

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Editor's note: This story has been updated to clarify the scope of the proposed legislation and that the plan would spend up to $180 billion.

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