Ocasio-Cortez Joins Protest At Nancy Pelosi’s Office To Demand A ‘Green New Deal’

Michael Bastasch | Energy Editor

A group of young environmental activists occupied House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s office with a list of demands, including one that Democrats support what they’re calling a “Green New Deal.”

Activists began their “sit in” at Pelosi’s Capitol Hill office on Tuesday morning, wearing matching t-shirts and holding yellow signs with slogans such as, “We have twelve years. What’s your plan?”

The sit in is part of the Sunrise Movement’s plan to create an “army of young people to stop climate change and create millions of good jobs,” according to the group’s Twitter bio. The group is demanding Democrats back their petition to rapidly “green” the economy to fight global warming.

“How is @NancyPelosi going to respond to the young people occupying her office for a #GreenNewDeal right now?” Sunrise Movement tweeted on Tuesday.

Activists were joined by New York Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who backed a “Green New Deal” during her campaign. Ocasio-Cortez called for a “Green New Deal” to create a “100% renewable energy system and a fully modernized electrical grid by 2035.”

So what is this “Green New Deal” activists are demanding? The group’s petition is vague, but generally describes this plan as “moving our country off fossil fuels over the designated 12 years that the [United Nations] has given us.”

“[T]he Green New Deal believes that radically addressing climate change is a potential path towards a more equitable economy with increased employment and widespread financial security for all,” reads Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign website.

Democratic congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaks at her midterm election night party in New York City

Democratic congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaks at her midterm election night party in New York City, U.S. November 6, 2018. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly.

Ocasio-Cortez, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, beat Republican opponent Anthony Pappas in November’s election, and will represent several New York City neighborhoods.

It remains to be seen if Pelosi adopts an explicitly anti-fossil fuel agenda, but the California congresswoman said she wanted to revive a defunct House committee on global warming. (RELATED: Utility Shareholders Fight To Keep US Coal Fleet From Disappearing)

Pelosi said the committee would “‘prepare the way with evidence’ for energy conservation and other climate change mitigation legislation,” she told The New York Times at the end of October.

“Pelosi said it was clearly still needed to educate the public about the impact of more frequent extreme weather events,” TheNYT reported of Pelosi’s interview remarks.

Update: Pelosi’s office put out a statement on the “sit in.” In the statement, Pelosi said, “[w]e welcome the presence of these activists, and we strongly urge the Capitol Police to allow them to continue to organize and participate in our democracy.”

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