Freshman Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) was widely criticized last year for releasing the Green New Deal, a $93 trillion piece of legislation that researchers at non-profit libertarian think tank Competitive Enterprise Institute summarized as “an overwhelmingly expensive proposal reliant on technologies that have not yet been invented.”
Now, Rob Bonta, a Democratic lawmaker from California, has announced the “California Green New Deal,” a plan similar to Ocasio-Cortez’s legislation, but designed to “boldly address the impacts of climate change and issues of equity” from a state-centric point of view.
“Same name, same pillars addressing climate change as we promote equity, but this is California’s Green New Deal, so it’s different,” said Bonta, as reported by the Sacramento Bee.
“People who have been hurt by the fossil fuel economy must be first in line to benefit from the new clean energy, Green economy,” Bonta announced in a press release on Monday. “The goals outlined in my bill will create the foundation for this diverse coalition to work together on additional and future legislative efforts.”
Since the press release has few specifics, it is unclear what exactly Bonta is trying to accomplish with the plan. Some of the plan’s goals, however, include “reducing disparate standard of living indices for historically impacted communities of color by 2030,” reducing air pollution, and “increasing affordable housing and public transportation by doubling their current availability by 2030.”
Marie Waldron, leader of the Republican caucus in the California State Assembly, ripped proponents of the bill for omitting any specifics about the cost of the plan.
“It’s telling that Democrats refuse to say how much this plan will cost or where they’ll get the money,” said Waldron, according to the Sacramento Bee. “If their plan is to reduce emissions by making California so unaffordable that only Tesla drivers are able to stay here, they’re certainly on the right track.”
Bonta claims Californians “can’t afford not to pay for it” and suggests that the money will “turn up” eventually.
“There’s no bigger threat to our planet, people, existence, state, all the residents of California than climate change. It is existential,” says Bonta, reports the news agency. “When the federal government decides to go to war, sometimes endless war, we don’t ask how it’s being paid for. There’s many things we do we don’t ask how it’s going to be paid for. The money shows up. It turns up.”
After announcing the Green New Deal last year, Ocasio-Cortez was slightly more upfront about the cost, saying that she believes “we really need to get to $10 trillion to have a shot” at addressing climate change, according to the Hill.
“I know it’s a ton,” said Ocasio-Cortez, reports the news agency. “I don’t think anyone wants to spend that amount of money, it’s not a fun number to say, I’m not excited to say we need to spend $10 trillion on climate, but … it’s just the fact of the scenario.”
She was off by about $80 trillion.