Maine’s congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-1) has officially backed the ambitious Green New Deal, a plan for a massive federal investment package designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and transform the U.S. economy to be carbon neutral within 10 years.
On Tuesday, Pingree joined 15 other House members and announced her support for the Green New Deal — a resolution first proposed last month by Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) to address the urgency and seriousness of climate change.
The renewed push to transition the U.S. economy away from fossil fuels comes in the wake of two dire federal reports on climate change released in the past month which concluded that catastrophic consequences loom over the horizon if the U.S. doesn’t slash carbon emissions by 45 percent before 2030.
The most recent report, written by scientists and representatives from 13 federal agencies was released last Friday, and found that extreme weather events like droughts, hurricanes, and wildfires will only worsen, and that humans need to take aggressive action to mitigate these threats. That report also detailed that the Gulf of Maine is warming faster than most of the worlds bodies of saltwater, while also becoming more acidic — effects that are already disrupting lobster, cod, and shrimp populations which in turn has devastating economic impacts for New England fisheries.
“Look no further than Maine’s lobster industry to see the looming economic crisis facing our state due to rapidly warming waters,” said Congresswoman Pingree in a press release Tuesday. “We don’t need another report to tell us climate change is a threat to our health, environment and economy. The Green New Deal is an important blueprint for us to fight this crisis on all fronts. Congress should not leave any thoughtful climate change solution unexplored.”
The Green New Deal investment program would create a special House committee in Washington that would need to submit a comprehensive plan by January 1, 2020. The scope of that plan aims to draft legislation with “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes to all aspects of society.”
The goals of the Green New Deal include switching national power generation to 100 percent renewable sources, decarbonizing the manufacturing and agricultural industries, increasing funding for the capture of greenhouse gases, and stimulating “green” technology industries to the point where the U.S. becomes an international leader in helping other countries transition to carbon neutral economies.
It’s unclear whether or not Maine’s 2nd congressional delegate, newly elected Democrat Jared Golden (D-2), will also back the Green New Deal — he could not be reached for comment — but during his campaign he said he would prioritize action against climate change.