Democrats Ocasio-Cortez, Pelosi At Odds Over Addressing Climate Change?

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York says she is on good terms with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and won't let climate change divide Democrats.

The New York freshman lawmaker was one of the sponsors at Thursday's unveiling of a Green New Deal resolution on controlling climate change by transforming the U.S. economy to combat climate change and create thousands of jobs in renewable energy. The plan sets a goal to meet all power demand in the U.S. through clean, renewable and zero-emission energy sources by 2030. Use of wind and solar power would be dramatically increased under the plan. The Green New Deal goes far beyond the Clean Power Plan proposed by President Barack Obama. Hours earlier, Pelosi said she had not yet read the Green New Deal.

Ocasio-Cortez said she was not offended that Pelosi called the resolution "the green dream." She said she doesn't "consider that to be a dismissive term."

Ocasio-Cortez also downplayed her absence from a select panel studying climate change. She said Pelosi asked her to serve on the committee, but she declined because it focuses on investigations.

The Green New Deal resolution unveiled Thursday would provide guidance on the drafting of legislation.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she welcomes "the enthusiasm" of backers of a Green New Deal, but she stopped short of supporting it.

She spoke Thursday, shortly before Democrats, including Ocasio-Cortez , unveiled legislation aimed at combating climate change and creating jobs in renewable energy.

The California Democrat told reporters she hadn't seen the proposal. But she welcomes "the enthusiasm that is there."

Pelosi said, "I welcome the new deal and any other proposals." She said she wants to hear from a newly established select committee on climate change, which will consider options not named in the Green New Deal. Ocasio-Cortez is not on the panel.

Pelosi has tapped eight Democrats to serve on the climate change special committee. She said Reps. Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico, Suzanne Bonamici of Oregon, Joe Neguse of Colorado, Donald McEachin of Virginia and Sean Casten of Illinois will serve on the panel, along with three Californians: Julia Brownley, Jared Huffman and Mike Levin.

The panel will be chaired by Rep. Kathy Castor of Florida, who was chosen in December.

Pelosi said the new panel, which also will include six Republicans, "will be vital in advancing ambitious progress for our planet."


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