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Energy & Environment

AOC’s Chief of Staff Admits the Green New Deal Is Not about Climate Change

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D, N.Y.) during a House Oversight and Government Reform hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., May 9, 2019. (Leah Millis/Reuters)

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff Saikat Chakrabarti admitted recently that the true motivation behind introducing the Green New Deal is to overhaul the “entire economy.”

Chakrabarti said that addressing climate change was not Ocasio-Cortez’s top priority in proposing the Green New Deal during a meeting with Washington governor Jay Inslee.

“The interesting thing about the Green New Deal, is it wasn’t originally a climate thing at all,” Chakrabarti said to Inslee’s climate director, Sam Ricketts, according to a Washington Post reporter who attended the meeting for a profile published Wednesday.

“Do you guys think of it as a climate thing?” Because we really think of it as a how-do-you-change-the-entire-economy thing,” he added.

The Green New Deal, proposed earlier this year by Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey (D., Mass.), would transition the U.S. economy entirely away from fossil fuels within ten years while simultaneously providing a federal jobs and healthcare guarantee. It would also, according to its proponents, advance “social, economic, racial, regional and gender-based justice and equality and cooperative and public ownership.”

All told, the proposal will cost up to $93 trillion in new government spending over ten years, according to a recent report by the conservative American Action Forum.

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