How AOC’s ‘Green New Deal’ compares to Cuomo’s

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez delivers remarks on the 'Green New Deal' resolution during a press conference on Capitol Hill in February.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez delivers remarks on the 'Green New Deal' resolution during a press conference on Capitol Hill in February.
SHAWN THEW/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez delivers remarks on the 'Green New Deal' resolution during a press conference on Capitol Hill in February.

How AOC’s ‘Green New Deal’ compares to Cuomo’s

Both would achieve 100% clean energy, while one has a better chance of advancing.
April 22, 2019

With the rise of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the “Green New Deal” has become part of nearly everyone’s vernacular. Although the Green Party first formulated a Green New Deal in 2006, the term did not go mainstream until Ocasio-Cortez championed climate change legislation and introduced her own legislative proposal.

Capitalizing on the now ubiquitous name, Gov. Andrew Cuomo introduced his own Green New Deal as part of his executive budget. The governor had previously set ambitious energy and climate goals, but his new plan goes further. Here’s how the two plans compare.

Clean energy and emissions goals
AOC:
Achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions

100% of U.S. power demand from clean, renewable resources

Remove greenhouse gas emissions and pollution from the manufacturing industry

Remove greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector as much as possible

Overhaul transportation to remove greenhouse gas emissions and pollution where feasible

Remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere
Cuomo: 
100% clean power generation with renewable energy mandates.

9,000 megawatts of energy from offshore wind by 2035

6,000 megawatts of energy from solar by 2025

3,000 megawatts of energy storage by 2030

Develop a plan to make New York carbon neutral

Create a “climate action council” to study transportation, buildings, electricity, industry commercial activity and agriculture

 

Economic goals
AOC: Create millions of high-paying jobs.
Cuomo: Invest $1.5 billion in clean technology.

 

Other goals
AOC:
Invest in infrastructure to be more sustainable

Building infrastructure resilient to climate-change related disasters

Repairing and upgrading U.S. infrastructure

Building energy-efficient “smart” power grids

Secure for all Americans clean water, climate and community resiliency, healthy food, access to water and a sustainable environment

Promoting justice and equity for historically underserved or oppressed communities, including indigenous peoples, people of color, immigrants and low-income workers
Cuomo: 
Ensure a just transition to a clean energy economy

Codifying the Environmental Justice and Just Transition Working Group into law

$70 million property tax compensation fund to help communities transition to clean energy

Protecting labor rights in the clean energy sector

 

Time frame
AOC:
10 years
Cuomo:
100% clean power generation by 2040 and no time frame for other goals

Type of government action
AOC: 
Ocasio-Cortez introduced her Green New Deal as a congressional resolution, which means it would have no force of law. Instead, it presents a roadmap of ideas. Her plan would require extensive, currently unwritten, legislation to carry it out.
Cuomo:
Cuomo introduced his Green New Deal in his executive budget as a package of legislation, which would give every goal the power of statute.

 

Status
AOC:
The Green New Deal has come to a vote once in the U.S. Senate as a political move by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to force Democrats’ hands before any committee hearings were held. Every member voted either against it or “present,” which counts as a “no” vote. Most Democrats voted “present” as part of a strategy lead by Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer.
Cuomo:
The legislation did not make it into the final state budget, meaning that none of his proposals currently exist in statute.

 

Prospects
AOC:
While climate change has emerged as a key issue for 2020 presidential candidates, many Republicans openly ridicule Ocasio-Cortez’s proposal, and the future of her resolution remains uncertain even among Democrats who agree action must be taken to address climate change.
Cuomo:
Some version of Cuomo’s goals may become reality, as many Democrats in the state would readily support ambitious climate goals.

The state Legislature is reviewing the Climate and Community Protection Act, which would, among other things, codify versions of Cuomo’s previously established climate goals.

The state Legislature also has a bill to create a Green New Deal task force to develop a plan to address climate change and achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.
Rebecca C. Lewis
is a staff reporter at City & State.
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