Schumer challenges McConnell to acknowledge climate change

Schumer challenges McConnell to acknowledge climate change

By TMN Interns   
Senate Minority Leader, Chuck Schumer, (D- N.Y.), at the Tuesday 2PM Senate presser, March 13, 2018, (Photo © 2018 Doug Christian)
"This is no game; this is no joke," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Thursday on the Senate floor about climate change. (File photo © 2018 Doug Christian/TMN)

By Justine Lopez

WASHINGTON – Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is challenging Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to acknowledge climate change amid talk about the Green New Deal.

“This is no game; this is no joke. Climate change is deadly serious and the time for all of us to treat it that way is now before it is too late,” Schumer (D-N.Y.) said during floor remarks on Thursday.

Green New Deal, a non-binding resolution Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) proposed on Feb. 7, seeks to reduce the U.S.’s carbon footprint by transitioning to 100 percent renewable energy. The goal is to reach net zero carbon emissions or “carbon neutrality” by the year 2050. Carbon neutrality seeks to offset the amount of carbon dioxide released into the environment as a result of using fossil fuel. The 14-page resolution calls for investing in electric cars and high-speed rail systems.

Since McConnell (R-Ky.) announced Tuesday that he is planning a vote on the deal, divisions remain strong down party lines on the issue of climate change. Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass), co-sponsor of the Green New Deal, has accused McConnell of moving the bill through too quickly without enough time to garner support.

“Republicans want to avoid a true national debate and kill our efforts to organize,” Sen. Markey said in a tweet.

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), however, took a different stance, telling TMN that the deal would only hinder the economy.

“I think it’s a preposterous proposal that has no basis in reality that would slow the United States economy to a crawl,” Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn) said Thursday.

The measure is not expected to pass due to the Republican majority in the Senate.  Some Senate Democrats told TMN that although the resolution is likely to fail, a vote offers a good opportunity to propel the climate-change dialogue forward.

“For 25 years they’ve mocked the seriousness of this problem,” Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) said. “The truth is now we’re going to have an opportunity to debate the Republicans about an existential threat to the planet.”

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