The new climate "gold standard" for Democratic presidential hopefuls

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Democrats launched a sweeping plan Thursday to transform the USA economy to combat climate change and create thousands of jobs in renewable energy, signaling its likely elevation as a central campaign issue in 2020 despite President Donald Trump's failure to mention climate change in his State of the Union address.

With a whiff of presidential politics and a rock-star freshman in attendance, Democrats drew an unusually large crowd for the Green New Deal unveiling. "We leave no one behind".

Her website "promotes off-shore drilling under Energy issues-the very thing she wants to eliminate with her "Green New Deal" that dropped today", tweeted the RSC. The Trump administration does not believe action on climate change is necessary and is focused on increasing production of oil, gas and coal on federal and private land. Ocasio-Cortez was not among those named to the panel, which is chaired by Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Fla. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) are teasing the ambitious deal and set to unveil it at a Thursday afternoon press conference.

Asked about the proposal on Thursday, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-California) couldn't even name it, let alone endorse it. Hours earlier, Pelosi said she had not yet read the Green New Deal.

A joint resolution drafted by them and expected to be introduced Thursday sets a goal to meet all power demand in the US through clean, renewable and zero-emission energy sources by 2030.

Though spearheaded by Ocasio-Cortez, the plan has already been endorsed by at least 60 Democrats in the House and by nine senators, the Washington Post reported, citing congressional Democrat aides. It's aimed a transforming the American economy by ending its dependence on fossil fuels, investing heavily in renewable energy like solar and wind and sparking large-scale job-creation.

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But the freshman congresswoman from NY introduced a Green New Deal resolution on Thursday that is already emerging as a key policy test for 2020 Democratic candidates.

Most of the Democratic presidential candidates, including Senators Kirsten Gillibrand of New York; Kamala Harris of California; Elizabeth Warren of MA; and Cory Booker of New Jersey have also broadly endorsed the idea behind the Green New Deal. Trump and the Republican-controlled Senate are likely to oppose this one, too.

Ocasio-Cortez, who wept as she lamented the impact of restrictionist immigration policy, stressed the importance of adherence to law to justify her opposition to migrant-detention facilities. Pelosi said she invited Ocasio-Cortez to join the panel but she declined.

While focusing on renewable energy, Ocasio-Cortez said the plan would include existing nuclear power plants but block new nuclear plants.

It goes on to say that "a new national social, industrial and economic mobilization on a scale not seen since World War II and the New Deal" is an opportunity to tackle systemic injustices of minority groups, create millions of high-wage jobs and "provide unprecedented levels of prosperity and economic security for all people of the United States".

Government can take an equity stake in Green New Deal projects "so the public gets a return on its investment", she said.

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