Hickenlooper targets Green New Deal as 'unachievable'

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper is emphasizing that he’s the first Democratic presidential candidate to oppose the Green New Deal.

Hours before a controversial vote in the Senate on the sweeping proposal that aims to transform the country’s economy to fight climate change while enacting a host of new health care and welfare programs, Hickenlooper took aim at the measure in a Washington Post opinion piece titled “The Green New Deal sets us up for failure. We need a better approach.”

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The Green New Deal, introduced in February by Democratic progressive rising star Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Democratic veteran Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts, has been savaged by many Republicans as a socialist dream that will bankrupt the country.

While Hickenlooper praised the concept of the Green New Deal as well as Ocasio-Cortez and other supporters for succeeding “in galvanizing the country around climate change as never before,” he criticized the proposal for shunning the private sector.

“The Ocasio-Cortez-Markey resolution gives government the dominant role on investment decisions, but most of the gains we have seen in recent years on renewable energy have come from entrepreneurs and companies responding to incentives from the market and the federal government, not bending to federal mandates,” Hickenlooper said.

Hickenlooper also spotlighted that “the resolution sets unachievable goals. We do not yet have the technology needed to reach ‘net-zero greenhouse gas emissions’ in 10 years.”

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The former two-term Colorado governor also expressed concerns with the Green New Deal’s high costs, as well as the resolution’s federal jobs guarantee, which he argued does little to tackle climate change but would add extra layers of bureaucracy.

While Hickenlooper had issues with the resolution, many of the leading contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination have embraced the proposals.

The Senate held a test vote on the Green New Deal on Tuesday afternoon. Many Senate Democrats slammed the move as a “sham” and as an attempt by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell – the top Republican in the chamber – to divide the minority party on the resolution, which hasn’t even been debated yet in Congress.

Nearly all the Democrats voted ‘present’ on the bill, bringing the tally to 57 against the resolution and none in support. Four moderate members of the chamber’s Democratic coalition joined the Republicans in voting against the measure.

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Tuesday’s editorial wasn’t the first time Hickenlooper expressed opposition to the Green New Deal. At a stop last month in the first-in-the-nation primary state of New Hampshire, he said resolution shouldn’t be “a litmus test that you’re either with us or wrong.”