For Immediate Release: June 22, 2020
Hawkins says Congressional Democrats Infrastructure Proposal far short of needed Green New Deal
Howie Hawkins, the initial author of a Green New Deal for the US back in 2010 who is the Green Party’s presumed nominee for President, said that the $1.5 trillion green infrastructure stimulus package by Congressional Democrats was at best a quarterly down payment that needs to be greatly expanded. The package includes only $70 billion for clean energy projects.
“The bills’ clean energy commitment does not come close to addressing the scale and scope of the climate emergency. Trump calls climate change a hoax, but the Democrats act as if it’s a hoax,” said Hawkins, a retired Teamster from Syracuse.
Hawkins has laid out a ten-year investment of $4.2 trillion a year for his Ecosocialist Green New Deal, which seeks to zero out carbon emissions by 2030 while providing jobs, health care, housing and education for all Americans. A recent study by Oxford University found that green economic stimulus is the most cost-effective in terms of job creation.
“The Democrats have elevated the climate crisis to their checkoff list on talking points. They still fall far short of treating it as the greatest crisis threatening the future of humanity. The IPCC has warned that the world has a decade left for unprecedented global action to prevent climate catastrophe and yet even the most progressive governments are still falling far short of what is needed,” said Hawkins.
“We have to move at warp speed to energy retrofit homes and businesses, put solar and wind everywhere that makes environmental sense, invest in public transit systems, and redesign our agriculture and industrial processes to be carbon free and sustainable. This energy revolution needs to be publicly owned and democratically controlled,” added Hawkins.
Hawkins said that the federal government has been incredibly slow in developing offshore wind, partially out of the over-reliance on market forces to solve the problems that they created.
Hawkins would pay for the Green New Deal through a 75% cut in the military budget; a massive carbon tax (not cap-and-trade) that would make polluters pay for the damages they have caused while rebating revenues to low-and-moderate income households; and, higher taxes on the wealthy. He supports a Just Transition that supports workers move out of fossil fuels while investing in disadvantaged communities that have been the principal victims of both climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic.