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Ocasio-Cortez: Green New Deal Will Deliver ‘Social and Racial Justice’

Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D, N.Y.) arrives for a class photo with incoming newly elected members of the U.S. House of Representatives on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., November 14, 2018. (Carlos Barria/Reuters )

Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said Tuesday that her ambitious plan to transition the U.S. to 100 percent renewable energy will “inevitably” spur economic growth, help prevent global warming, and deliver “social and racial justice” to historically marginalized communities.

“We can use the transition to 100 percent [renewable] energy as the vehicle to truly deliver and establish economic, social, and racial justice in the United States of America,” Ocasio-Cortez said during a panel discussion on Capitol Hill with Vermont senator Bernie Sanders and environmental activist Bill McKibben.

The 29-year-old democratic-socialist has prioritized the development of a so-called  “green new deal” since her shocking upset of ten-term representative Joe Crowley (D., N.Y.) in a House primary this summer, pushing for the creation of a Select Committee on Climate Change — a measure that establishment Democrats have argued is unnecessary and will encroach on the jurisdiction of existing committees.

“This is going to be the Great Society, the moonshot, the civil-rights movement of our generation,” Ocasio-Cortez said of the green new deal on Tuesday. “This is the mechanism through which we can really deliver justice to communities that have been underserved.”

“We have injustices in this country. Those injustices are concentrated in front-line communities and indigenous, black, and brown communities,” she said. “They’re the ones that experience the greatest depths of this injustice.”

Representative Frank Pallone (D., N.J.), who will chair the Committee on Energy and Commerce come January, has dismissed freshmen lawmakers’ calls for a Select Committee on Climate Change as a distraction.

“We want to move very aggressively. We’ve got people in charge of these committees who are very progressive, and I just don’t see the need for the select committee,” Pallone told reporters in November when asked about the incoming lawmakers’ efforts.“In part, I think it may actually delay what the progressives are trying to achieve.”

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