Washington, D.C. - The “Green New Deal” resolution introduced in Congress today by Senator Edward Markey and Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez does not include any language that would stop the expansion of fracking, drilling, pipelines, and other fossil fuel projects and infrastructure. In fact, the resolution nowhere mentions the terms “oil,” “natural gas” or “fossil fuels.”
Last month more than 600 organizations joined in a letter calling for climate legislation to include at a minimum an immediate fossil fuel phase-out, a halt to leasing of federal lands for fossil fuel production, and an end to the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure. Last year 47 members of Congress co-sponsored bold legislation that paired the need for a quick and just transition to 100% renewable energy with a moratorium on new fossil fuel projects.
In response, a number of national and grassroots organizations fighting current and proposed fossil fuel extraction and infrastructure development across the country released the following statements:
“We urgently need a bold and ambitious Green New Deal that tackles fossil fuels head-on,” said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch. “We support the ambition and scale of this resolution, and we are heartened by its recognition that climate change poses a grave threat to healthy food and clean water, but any legislation that does not explicitly address the urgent need to keep fossil fuels in the ground is insufficient. A Green New Deal must ban fracking and stop the buildout of dangerous fossil fuel infrastructure that poses a direct threat to public health and safety right now. We look forward to fully supporting legislation that moves us to 100% renewable energy while also initiating the immediate phaseout of fossil fuels that science tells us must occur in order to adequately tackle the climate crisis.”
“In just three months, Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez and youth-led climate groups have transformed the national conversation around what must be done to address the climate emergency. We are at a historic inflection point, requiring us to look the threat of climate breakdown straight on and rise to meet it. It is the Progressive Democrats of America's position that any 10-year Green New Deal plan must explicitly prioritize a rapid, just transition off of fossil fuels and fossil fuel infrastructure. There is no carbon budget left to safely burn. PDA is committed to standing for that truth; to holding the line,” said Russell Greene, senior strategic adviser at Progressive Democrats of America.
"For years Democrats have been saying they are acting on climate, but continue to put forth fossil fuel compromised energy policy. A real Green New Deal must be defined by climate science and that means stopping the construction of new fossil fuel projects and replacing current fossil fuel infrastructure with renewables. We are deeply grateful to Sunrise and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for putting the Green New Deal front and center in the national conversation and look forward to working with them and frontline communities to continue that conversation about how we transform our economy and energy systems to be more just, equitable and renewable," said Lee Ziesche, community engagement coordinator at Sane Energy Project.
“We appreciate Sen. Markey and Rep. Ocasio Cortez’s ambitious proposal for an expeditious transition to 100% renewables by 2030,” said Tabitha Tripp, founder of Southern Illinoisans Against Fracturing Our Environment (SAFE). “However, for frontline communities here in southern Illinois, electric cars and geo thermal heat pumps are not an option when the environment around them is polluted and degraded as a result of oil and gas drilling. We need a ban on fracking and other dangerous fossil fuels, hold corporations accountable for their emissions, and an equitable transition for rural and impoverished communities who have and will continue to suffer the brunt of climate change.”
“The dangerous Mariner East pipeline system would endanger my community and lock in years of greenhouse gas emissions. I support the policy of getting to 100% renewable energy by 2030, with green jobs as a centerpiece to that, but hope that leaders come forward with a plan that tackles all the obstacles necessary to solve climate change,” said Caroline Hughes of Goshen United for Public Safety.
“I live in Playa del Rey, Los Angeles, between a leaky methane storage facility and a gas power plant,” said Tudor Popescu, organizer with Protect Playa Now. "While I welcome news of a ‘Green New Deal,’ it needs to include a hard deadline for phasing out all fossil fuels. I grew up in this neighborhood with oily mist covering my neighbors’ homes. My heart breaks when I think what climate change has in store for my four-month-old son. We owe him a fossil free future."
Contact: Seth Gladstone - sgladstone[at]fwwatch[dot]org, 917.363.6615