The Magical Realism of the Green New Deal

NLF Highlights For Feb 19th

An increasing number of Americans now see climate change as an imminent threat caused by humans.  Sixty-four percent of voters also believe the U.S. should do more to respond to the crisis.  Enter Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of 14th district of New York, the burgeoning Sunrise Movement, and the Congressional Resolution on the Green New Deal, released February 7th. In this installment of the New Labor Forum newsletter we make available to our readers an analysis of the Resolution by Sean Sweeney, NLF columnist and Director of Trade Unions for Energy Democracy. Sweeney examines what have widely been characterized as the Resolution’s far-fetched proposals, and argues that “the magnitude of the climate crisis makes the half-measures and failed ‘market mechanisms’ of the mainstream in fact more unrealistic than the bold plans put forward by the Green New Deal.” We also include a link to the resolution itself, as well as two pertinent articles, one describing successful organizing by the residents of a majority-black community in Detroit to achieve public ownership and community control of utilities, and another article highlighting legislation in Maine to create a consumer-owned utility, with the support of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers union. All of this is intended to spur discussion and inform action on the most urgent challenge of this era.

Table of Contents
  1. The Green New Deal’s Magical Realism/ Sean Sweeney, New Labor Forum
  2. Resolution on the Green New Deal/ Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, House of Representatives
  3. The Green New Deal Must Put Utilities Under Public Control/ Jackson Koeppel, Johanna Bozuwa and Liz Veazey, In These Times
  4. Consumer-Owned Electric Utility Proposed for Maine; Union Contracts to be Protected/ IBEW Local 1837

The Green New Deal’s Magical Realism

By Sean Sweeney/ New Labor Forum
When young activists from the Sunrise Movement and Justice Democrats occupied House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office in late 2018 to deliver a draft Congressional resolution calling for the development of a “Green New Deal” (GND), they probably had no idea that it would spark a massive global reaction.Driven by newly elected Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez the youngest person ever elected to the U.S. Congress and, like Bernie Sanders, an open…

Resolution on the Green New Deal

By Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez/ House of Representatives
…it is the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal—to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions through a fair and just transition for all communities and workers; to create millions of good, high-wage jobs and ensure prosperity and economic security for all people of the United States; to invest in the infrastructure and industry of the United States to sustainably meet the challenges of…

The Green New Deal Must Put Utilities Under Public Control

By Jackson Koeppel, Johanna Bozuwa and Liz Veazey/In These Times
Highland Park, Mich., is a small, majority-black community of three square miles, nestled in the center of Detroit, with some of the highest poverty and unemployment rates in the country. It’s suffered a series of indignities and setbacks over the years: a state emergency…

Consumer-Owned Electric Utility Proposed for Maine; Union Contracts to be Protected

By IBEW Local 1837
At a news conference at the Maine State House, Rep. Seth Berry, House Chair of the Energy and Utilities Committee, announced that he was submitting legislation to form a new consumer-owned utility. The Maine Power Delivery Authority would not be run by the state and would not be financed by tax dollars in any way. If enacted, Maine Power would acquire all transmission and distribution assets of…

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