By Mary Margaret Olohan
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders will join Democratic New York Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez at a Green New Deal rally Monday night at Howard University in Washington, D.C.
The rally is hosted by the Sunrise Movement, an environmental activism group attempting to build “an army of young people to stop climate change and create millions of good jobs in the process,” and will be the final stop on the Sunrise Movement’s “Road To The Green New Deal” tour.
The Sunrise Movement has held protests at the offices of Democratic leaders such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in collaboration with Ocasio-Cortez, according to The Washington Examiner.
The group announced Sander’s attendance in a tweet Saturday. “BIG NEWS:@SenSanders is joining us Monday with @AOC, @SenMarkey, and more for the final #Road2GND tour stop in DC where we’ll launch the next phase of the #GreenNewDeal campaign.”
BIG NEWS: @SenSanders is joining us Monday with @AOC, @SenMarkey, and more for the final #Road2GND tour stop in DC where we’ll launch the next phase of the #GreenNewDeal campaign. https://t.co/SeYQxPolBT
— Sunrise Movement ???? (@sunrisemvmt) May 11, 2019
The rally comes as Democratic 2020 presidential hopefuls bring climate change to the forefront of the political arena. Sanders criticized 2020 Democratic hopeful Joe Biden Friday for his “middle ground” approach to environmental issues, according to the Washington Examiner, saying that climate change must be the United States’ priority.
“If we don’t commit to fully transforming our energy system away from fossil fuels, we will doom future generations,” Sanders said. “Fighting climate change must be our priority, whether fossil fuel billionaires like it or not.”
Reuter’s initially reported Biden’s “middle ground” approach, saying that the former vice president hopes to appeal to both sides of the aisle on this issue. Biden campaign spokesman TJ Ducklo told Reuters that Biden takes climate change seriously, saying in an emailed statement that “Joe Biden has called climate change an ‘existential threat,’ and as Vice President was instrumental in orchestrating the Paris Climate Accord.”
Some see Biden’s stance as a reboot of President Barack Obama’s policies. “Biden is surrounding himself with the very people President Obama relied on to strangle the economy by driving the fossil fuel industry out of business,” Tom Pyle, president of the American Energy Alliance, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
The Congressional Leadership Fund said in an email to The Daily Caller News Foundation that they fully support Sanders’ and Ocasio-Cortez’s efforts to publicize the Green New Deal as a way of making the public aware of the deal’s idiosyncrasies.
“If Democrats want to make the 2020 elections about the Green New Deal, then all we have to say is: game on,” said CLF Spokesman Calvin Moore in a statement. “Democrats continuing to discuss their plan to blow $93 trillion taxpayer dollars on a wholly unrealistic plan to ban air travel and rebuild every single building in the country is only helping elect Republicans to the House of Representatives. We welcome their efforts with open arms.”
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