Energy

‘Real Scrutiny’: House Republicans To Hold Congress’s First Public Forum On The Green New Deal

REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

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Michael Bastasch Energy Editor

House Republicans will hold a policy forum Wednesday to do something Congress hasn’t done yet with respect to the Green New Deal — publicly scrutinize it.

Green New Deal opponents and supporters were invited by the Congressional Western Caucus, a group of Republican lawmakers from western states, to examine the costs and feasibility of the sweeping plan that’s backed by many Democratic 2020 hopefuls. The forum will be followed by a press conference.

The Western Caucus bills the forum as the “first in-depth public review” the Green New Deal has gotten from Congress since it was introduced by Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in early February. The non-binding resolution calls for a World War II-style mobilization to achieve “net-zero” greenhouse gas emissions within 10 years.

So far, not a single Green New Deal supporter accepted Republicans’ invitation to testify at the forum except for Ocasio-Cortez herself — however, her staff later said she might not be able to attend because of former Trump attorney Michael Cohen’s testimony.

Republicans oppose the Green New Deal, with many labeling it “socialist.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell plans to hold a vote on the resolution.

Some House Republicans, including Western Caucus member Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, also favor voting on the Green New Deal, confident it will be defeated, but it doesn’t seem likely the bill will come to the House floor.

“We think Democrats need to be held accountable,” Cheney told reporters in mid-February.

U.S. Representative Ocasio-Cortez speaks during a news conference for a proposed "Green New Deal" at the U.S. Capitol in Washington

U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) speaks during a news conference for a proposed “Green New Deal” to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in 10 years, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, U.S. February 7, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst.

“The Western caucus hearing tomorrow promises to be the first real scrutiny Congress will be giving on the Green New Deal,” Marc Morano, publisher of Climate Depot and author of “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Climate Change,” told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Morano is among the handful of Green New Deal opponents planning on testifying at the GOP-led forum. He’s joined by conservative activists and a prominent climatologist skeptical of global warming alarmism. (RELATED: Here’s How Much The Green New Deal Could Cost Your Family)

Green New Deal supporters, including the Sierra Club and New Consensus, told CNBC they would not attend the forum. The Sierra Club’s climate policy director Liz Perera called it a “political circus.”

“It’s clear to any thinking person that this isn’t a serious forum,” Demond Drummer, New Consensus’ executive director, told CNBC.

House Republicans also invited New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, the Sunrise Movement, Ocasio-Cortez and all the Green New Deal Resolution cosponsors to attend the forum.

Ocasio-Cortez specifically requested New Consensus be invited to explain the specifics of the Green New Deal, but the group declined to attend the forum. In fact, Drummer dismissed the forum as not serious.

Morano chastised Green New Deal supporters for wanting to engage on a bill they say is necessary to avert catastrophic global warming.

“Climate activists and their friends in the media seem to be outraged that any global warming skeptics will be allowed to speak,” Morano said. “If the green New Deal is a serious proposal it should be able to handle critical views.”

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