Bernie's New and Improved Green New Deal - Some early Impressions and Summary

Bernie Sanders’s new GND plan goes far beyond the provisions included in the language of the original Green New Deal resolution introduced in Congress earlier in 2019. Of particular importance is that unlike the original GND, it comprehensively addresses the multifold problems created by the fossil fuel industry itself, and holds this powerful, coercive industry accountable for its impacts on public health and safety, the environment, and especially, the climate. In addition to holding the fossil fuel industry accountable, among other things, his plan explicitly rejects nuclear energy based on its unacceptable safety and environmental risks.

 Any candidate who fails to offer solutions to the issues addressed by Sanders sweeping new GND is failing to adequately confront the climate emergency and cannot be seen to be a leader in this area.

 Some of Bernie’s most important and bold new GND provisions are:
1) prosecuting and suing the fossil fuel industry for its willful harm to the climate

2) placing bans on a) fracking, b) the leasing of public lands, c) offshore drilling, and d) mountaintop coal removal;

3) denying federal permits to all new fossil fuel infrastructure, including pipelines, storage, etc., and repealing Trump’s executive orders approving KXL and the Dakota Access Pipeline; and

4) banning the export and import of fossil fuels.

 Other key points include:

  • Divestment of federal pensions from fossil fuels

  • Ending federal subsidies for the fossil fuel industry

  • Elevated emissions control standards and increasing penalties for pollution and emissions violations by fossil fuel producers

  • A National Climate Risk Assessment Report

  • Assessing the climate impacts of all resolutions proposed by Congress

  • Research into converting the aviation and shipping industries to renewable fuel sources

  • Electrifying our nation's school busses

  • Electrifying the trucking industry

  • Regional high-speed rail

  • Auto buyback programs and grant for electric cars for low and middle income drivers

  • Grants and tax subsidies for renewable energy storage projects, not just generation

  • Nationwide EV charging networks

  • Global investment in emissions reduction, including a Green Climate Fund to provide for transfer of technology and sustainability practices to developing nations that need them

  • Establishing a nationwide recycling program to procure materials used to build out the renewable energy infrastructure as sustainably as possible.

  • Research into and adoption of alternatives to petrochemical based plastics production.

Diana Bray