The real Deal

To the editor:

Recently Congressman Hagedorn and other House Republicans signed a discharge petition to force a vote on the Green New Deal so the American people know where their representatives stand. They say the Green New Deal will end farming as we know it and end air travel. The president says we will have to build trains to Hawaii! They say it will destroy our economy and our way of life. That’s scary stuff! Who would pass a law to do that? No one. That’s not what the Green New Deal is.

The Green New Deal doesn’t require or end anything. It is a simple resolution. Simple resolutions are used to express nonbinding positions of the respective legislative bodies. They are not meant to become law. It’s like saying, “Hey, we need to come up with a serious plan about climate change. Do you agree?” Apparently Congressman Hagedorn and Republicans do not.

The Green New Deal resolution sets a timeline and broad goals which, if the resolution passed, may be changed, tossed out, or added to. The actual elements of a Green New Deal, and any regulations, would then be developed and worked out through committees, hearings, debate – all the usual legislative processes – and then would need to be signed into law by the president. It may look much different than the current resolution. It’s also possible no further actions would be taken.

The phrase “as much as technologically feasible” is repeated often in the goals of the Green New Deal resolution. For example: “working collaboratively with farmers and ranchers in the United States to remove pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector as much as is technologically feasible” and “remove pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector as much as is technologically feasible.”

So there is no bill to kill the cows, end farming, scrap air travel, and destroy our rural way of life. No train to Hawaii. Anyone who says otherwise is not being honest. But, hey, according to scientists as well as our military and studies by our own government, we need to come up with a serious plan about climate change. Do Republicans agree? The vote they are demanding will tell us where they stand.

Patricia Missling