Thursday, February 7, 2019; Washington, D.C. – In an exclusive interview with NPR Morning Edition co-host Steve Inskeep, Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY-14) unveiled her Green New Deal resolution.
Excerpts of the interview are available below and can be cited with attribution to NPR.
Audio clips and a transcript of the full conversation are available upon request, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
On the Green New Deal:
"Even the solutions that we have considered big and bold are nowhere near the scale of the actual problem that climate change presents to us to our country, to the world. And so while carbon taxes are nice while things like cap and trade are nice, it's not what's going to save the planet. It could be part of a larger solution but no one has actually scoped out what that larger solution would entail. And so that's really what we're trying to accomplish."
"We're talking about mobilizing an economy which means creating jobs...we're gonna have a lot of wind energy. We're going to have a lot of solar panels. And I think the goal is to really mobilize as much around renewables as possible."
"This is really about providing justice for communities and just transitions for communities. So really the heart of the Green New Deal is about social justice and it's about allowing and fighting for things like fully-funded pensions for coal miners in West Virginia, fighting for clean water in Flint, and fighting for the ability of indigenous peoples to take a leadership role in in where we're moving as a country."
On turning her fame into political power:
"I'm learning. I think that really what I hope we're able to do as a party and as a nation is rediscover the power of public imagination. I think that this is a very special moment and frankly that is something that that I think the President did do. In that he was able to take his profile and say here's this hugely impossible thing that seems ridiculous but I'm going to seriously push for it. And for him that's his wall. And obviously I'm diametrically opposed to it but I think that the reason he's so attached to this thing despite the fact that it's not what voters want, despite the fact that it's not what the American people want, is that it's the only vision he has. He has no other picture of America except an America with a huge wall on the southern border. And I think that what we have a responsibility to do is show what is another America looks like."
On Nancy Pelosi's leadership as Speaker of the House:
"I think she's doing great....One thing that I think has even increased my respect for her is the fact that when you are the Speaker of the House and when you are the leader of the party there is a necessity, no matter what your political opinions are, where you have your own personal political ideology - what you cast your votes on, how you represent your individual district - and then there's this kind of you know herding cats of trying to bring people together, some of whom don't believe in my opinion and women's rights and others who are the staunchest progressives in the party. And when your job is to get all of those people to do the same thing it's extremely difficult to do. And I think that she's done a really good job so far."
NPR Media Relations
Email: mediarelations (at) npr.org