De Blasio: We'll Ban 'Classic' Skyscrapers with NYC's Green New Deal

April 22, 2019

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D.) warned President Donald Trump will win in 2020 unless Democrats are "bold" and "progressive" by embracing ideas such as the Green New Deal, the details of which includes banning "classic" skyscrapers for being environmentally inefficient.

De Blasio told Morning Joe New York City had its "own Green New Deal" with three basic ideas, which included banning glass and steel skyscrapers, getting energy from renewable sources in the next five years, and demanding all existing building owners retrofit their properties or face seven-figure fines.

"We're putting clear, strong mandates, the first of any major city on the earth to say to building owners, you've got to clean up your act, you've got to retrofit ... If you don't do it by 2030, there's serious fines, as high as $1 million or more for the biggest buildings," de Blasio said. "This mandate is going to guarantee that we reduce emissions. We're going to ban the classic glass and steel skyscrapers, which are incredibly inefficient. If someone wants to build one of those things, they can take a whole lot of steps to make it energy efficient, but we're not going to allow what we used to see in the past."

De Blasio said he would decide "soon" whether to join the 2020 Democratic presidential field, which already has 19 candidates and could soon grow to 20; The Atlantic reported former Vice President Joe Biden will officially announce his candidacy this week.

"The important point here in this whole discussion is Democrats are going to have to come to grips with the fact that there's an election in 2020," he said. "It's an election we are not definitely going to win at this point. Donald Trump actually can win. Democrats have to be strong and clear and bold and progressive in our messages, or we're not going to make it. I actually think more attention needs to be on that fact.

"We're not speaking enough to people's lives and the frustrations they're feeling, and there's an open opportunity for Democrats to do that. Part of why we announced the big, bold ideas that actually reach people like the New York City Green New Deal. It's important for people to understand, if you're not talking to people's everyday lives, if you're not talking about things they're actually feeling like global warming, don't be surprised if Donald Trump's back in the White House."

De Blasio also defended himself against accusations of environmental hypocrisy, given he travels daily in an SUV to a gym in Brooklyn, despite living on Manhattan's Upper East Side.

"Wherever I go in New York City, whether I take a subway ... I have a security detail that follows me in their cars either way," he said. "So let's be clear, this is just part of my life. I come from that neighborhood in Brooklyn. That's my home. I go there on a regular basis to stay connected to where I come from and not be in the bubble that, I think for a lot of politicians, is a huge problem. the fact is, those cars and that security detail are part of the life of being mayor of New York City."