U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland speaks Wednesday at the Los Alamos Nature Center Planetarium on the Green New Deal. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/ladailypost.com
By BONNIE J. GORDON
Los Alamos Daily Post
U.S. Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) was in Los Alamos Wednesday to talk about her support for the Green New Deal.
She spoke at the Los Alamos Nature Center. Haaland represents District 1, which includes most of Albuquerque and its suburbs. She and Sharice Davids of Kansas are the first two Native American women elected to the U.S. Congress. Both won election in 2018.
“I’m a 357th generation New Mexican,” Haaland said. She is a member of Laguna Pueblo.
Haaland was an original sponsor of the Green New Deal.
“It’s a big bold proposal to take on climate change,” she said. “It’s our obligation to do something.”
Haaland said the proposal could generate “good union jobs”.
“Millions of workers could be leading the charge for sustainable energy,” she said.
In addition, the proposed legislation could provide start-up money for green manufacturing.
“We could significantly reduce pollution while providing ourselves with a new green infrastructure,” Haaland said.
“The status quo leaves millions of people behind,” she said. “Climate change only increases these inequities.”
Haaland calls the Green New Deal an “aspirational document”. The concept could potentially include everything from protecting Chaco Canyon from oil drilling to apprenticeship programs for workers in the new green economy.
Haaland admits that it will be an expensive undertaking but insists that waiting will only make it grow more expensive.
“If we had moved on this years ago, we’d be in a much better place now,” she said.
Priorities are not yet set for what might come first among the many projects contemplated under the Green New Deal. Many of the legislators working on it are freshman, elected in 2018, with less than a year in the House under their belts and they are starting from scratch, Haaland said.
Many of the bills already passed by the House are “sitting on Mitch McConnell’s desk”, she said. However, Haaland promised to reach across the aisle to Republicans. Working with legislators from other western states toward renewable energy is one area where red and blue states can find common ground, she said.
Young people are leading the way on climate change, Haaland said.
“My guess is they’ll be out in force this election,” she said.
She urged scientists to take up the problems and challenges associated with global warming.
“One of the missions for LANL should be climate change,” Haaland said.