Sanders Defends Green New Deal: 'You Cannot Go Too Far' on Climate Change

March 1, 2019

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) defended the Green New Deal during a Friday appearance on ABC's "The View," saying, "you cannot go too far on the issue of climate change."

Sanders's comment came amid a discussion over whether it was "too radical" for chief Green New Deal sponsor Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) to say it was a "legitimate question to ask whether it's moral for people to have children now." Sanders avoided coming down on either side of the issue, instead saying whether to have kids was "an enormously personal choice that every couple is going to have to make."

The Vermont senator went on to say that unless "we transform our energy system" toward more green energy alternatives, the planet will become "increasingly unhealthy and uninhabitable" for the generations following his. Sanders is 77 years old.

When asked if the Green New Deal went "too far," Sanders shook his head.

"No," He said. "You cannot go too far on the issue of climate change. The future of the planet is at stake."

The Green New Deal advocates many progressive policy changes that many, including the Washington Post editorial board, have predicted would be impossible to implement in its proposed time frame. A document released by Ocasio-Cortez's office said the United States should push to replace air travel with train travel and ensure economic security for people "unwilling to work."

The bill has Democratic lawmakers divided. Along with Sanders, presidential candidates Sens. Kamala Harris (D., Calif), Cory Booker (D., N.J.), Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) support it. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D., Minn.) signed on it support of the resolution but has also called it "aspirational."

Some Democrats have been more skeptical. During an appearance on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," Sen. Dick Durbin (D., Ill.) told host Joe Scarborough that the bill's unrealistic goals may affect how he votes.

"I can't tell you, to be honest with you," Durbin said. "I've read it, and I've reread it, and I asked [Senator] Ed Markey, ‘What in the heck is this?'"

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) said in an interview published Wednesday the Green New Deal "goes beyond what our charge is" on climate change.