GOP Congressman Offers Alternative to the Green New Deal

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Posted: Apr 03, 2019 5:15 PM
GOP Congressman Offers Alternative to the Green New Deal

Source: AP/Reuters Feed Library

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) revealed his own version of the Green New Deal Wednesday at the House Triangle.

The congressman went live on Twitter, standing behind a podium carrying a sign that said “Green New Deal,” only with the word “new” crossed out and replaced with “real.”

Gaetz began his conference saying that climate change is a real issue, diverging from the GOP’s commonly held beliefs. He noted that on Tuesday, the secretaries and chiefs-of-staff of the Army and Air Force testified before the House Armed Services Committee. Gaetz said they concluded that climate change affects their strategic decisions regarding, “weapons testing, basing decisions, global movement of humans,” and other areas.

“History will judge harshly my Republican colleagues who deny the science of climate change,” Gaetz said. “Similarly those Democrats, who would use climate change as a basis to regulate out of existence the American experience face the harsh reality that their ideas will fail.”

Gaetz took jabs at the Green New Deal, sponsored by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). The package, which failed to pass in the Senate, would have required net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, healthcare for all, guaranteed livable wages for everyone, a complete reconstruction of public and private buildings and other measures.

"Do we really believe that if we outlaw cars, cows, planes and buildings that the rest of the world will follow?” Gaetz said. “Of course not, they will laugh at us.”

The congressman proposed an alternative. The Green Real Deal, “rejects regulation as the driving force of reform,” and instead relies on the work of the private sector to better the environment. 

It will establish four platforms for the private sector to use. They consist of, “an international marketplace that is fair to American innovators,” “a modernized electric grid,” a cut on federal land regulations in order to promote renewable energy development and, “an inclusive technology doctrine,” that will allow, “scalable, modular nuclear reactors” and other inventions to be put into action.

“The question for America is pretty simple: either we want a bunch of bureaucrats in Washington telling us what we can’t do, or we empower American innovators to unlock things that we can do,” Gaetz said.

The GOP politician may have trouble convincing his collogues that his “pro-business and pro-environment” proposal is the way to go. The conservative organization FreedomWorks released a statement denouncing Gaetz’s plan.

“[Rep. Gaetz’s] resolution is the ‘Green New Deal-light’ and another sad example of Republicans thinking they’re conservatives by being slightly to the right of far left,” they said. “What’s more, it is presented as a collection of bold, new ideas yet most of them are policies and programs that exist and aren’t working. This is perhaps the only thing ‘real’ about the ‘Green Real Deal.’”