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Last week, the Republican Members of Congress met at their annual policy conference and emerged from the meeting hoping the Green New Deal (GND) is a major issue in the 2020 election cycle because they think it is a winner for them.According to E&E News, their leadership is convinced that their best strategy for retaking control of the House of Representatives is to bash the Green New Deal by painting it as “creeping socialism” and that doing so will win them back the 19 seats needed. President Trump addressed the meeting and whipped up the crowd arguing that “the plan to achieve zero emissions by 2030 is ‘insane’ and ‘crazy,’ warning it would cost trillions of dollars and eliminate cows and planes.
Why This Matters: Both Republicans and Democrats see the GND as helping them politically so we are bound to hear a great deal about it over the next year. And both could be correct in that assumption — that the GND motivates both their bases equally to turn out in the next election. Indeed, in a stroke of counter logic, the Republicans will argue that the GND will lead to higher greenhouse gas emissions because it will force manufacturers to leave the United States to escape burdensome and costly regulations and build plants in countries with far fewer guards against emissions. However, in some Republican districts and red states where climate change impacts are being seen and felt by residents, it may not be such a winner for the Republicans.
How Un/Popular Is the GND
One of the leading Republicans in the House, Steve Scalise, told the Republicans that in visits to swing districts around the country in recent months, he finds more voters are aware of the Green New Deal than they are the Paris climate accord and they think it is “lunacy.” Other Republicans were more cautious about whether to take the GND on in every district. Congressman Greg Walden of Oregon told E&E that “it’s too early in the election cycle to say what issues the GOP should emphasize, but he noted Democrats could be hurt if their presidential nominee moves too far to the left.” Walden said, however, “issues vary and races are won district by district. He noted in his rural eastern Oregon district wildfires have been a top concern of voters.”
Today is World Environment Day. As you read this, it is clear that globally we are at a crossroads and that the inequities we see at home are also reflected across the broader planet. The pandemic has instigated a moment to re-examine our relationship with nature and the planet’s resources.
Why This Matters: Most of the world is moving ahead on this reset they see conserving nature and economic development as consistent
The Senate Democrats’ Environmental Justice Caucus laid out in a letter on Monday their vision for the next round of economic stimulus funding and the benefits in their proposal are intended to address the inequities of the virus’ impacts on the poor and minorities.
Why This Matters: These 16 Democrats are speaking up on behalf of members of low income, rural and communities of color (known as an environmental justice or frontline communities) who are especially vulnerable to the virus and don’t have access to quality health care that could vastly improve their chances of recovery.
Congress and the Trump administration are beginning to outline the Phase 4 Stimulus package, but there seems to be little mention of “clean” much less “green” provisions being included, which means there would need to be a Phase 5 package or these items will be left out completely.
Why This Matters: These items and many other similar ones that have been labeled as “green” were left out of previous bills because they were dubbed as unnecessary to battle the immediate health and economic impacts of the COVID-19.
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