Padilla Joins Markey, Ocasio-Cortez to Reintroduce Green New Deal

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW), joined Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) in a press conference to reintroduce the Green New Deal.

Padilla spoke about California’s leadership in the fight against the climate crisis and stressed the need for a Green New Deal as California faces extreme weather after a year of record-breaking wildfires. Padilla pointed to the severe impacts of climate change that have been felt not only in California, but across the country. Padilla highlighted that the Green New Deal is an opportunity to tackle the climate crisis head on while ensuring that communities of color, that have so often been overlooked or left out, are included both in our policy and in our economic recovery.

WATCH: View Video of Padilla’s Remarks / Download Video of Padilla’s Remarks

Click Here to View Press Conference Photos

Key Excerpts:

  • I’m proud to share that my home state of California has long led the country on climate policy and on innovating clean energy solutions that create good jobs and grow the economy. I am proud to have been part of that leadership as the former Chair of the State Senate Committee on Energy in the State Capitol.
  • This year, California is once again bracing itself for more extreme heat and another record-breaking wildfire year. Another winter of floods and sea level rise that threatens our coastal communities, a renewed drought that threatens California’s water supply for homes, ecosystems, and agriculture, and another year of homes destroyed and lives lost because of our lack of federal action on climate.
  • There are communities right now in America where families can’t drink the water because it’s contaminated with lead. Children can’t play in their backyards because of toxic contamination. They deserve our attention and our investment.
  • In the face of these challenges, the Green New Deal offers a once-in-a-generation opportunity to build back more sustainably and build back more equitably and show the world what an inclusive, thriving clean energy future can look like.
  • It’s time for another New Deal with the American people. One that tackles the climate crisis head-on and creates good-paying jobs in the process, including a Civilian Climate Corps to rebuild America’s economy. One that ensures that communities of color, that have so often been overlooked or left out, are included both in our policy and in our economic recovery.
  • I want to take a moment to thank the bold leadership of the many young climate activists here today and across the country for their fight to put these issues front and center, not just here in Congress, but in State Capitols around the country. Thank you for organizing. Thank you for mobilizing. Thank you for insisting that we face this great challenge and take advantage of this historic opportunity with the urgency that our climate crisis demands. 
  • El nuevo acuerdo verde aspira crear una movilización nacional sobre los siguientes diez años, que lucha contra las crisis económicas, sociales, raciales, y climáticas interconectadas que dañan a nuestro país.
  • La solución: inversión. No solo en nuestra infraestructura, pero en las comunidades mas dañadas por aire, tierra y agua contaminada. 

The full transcript of Padilla’s remarks as delivered below:

PADILLA: Thank you Congresswoman. Thank you all for joining us here today as we reintroduce the Green New Deal.

And particularly I want to thank you Senator Markey and Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez for your tenacious leadership on this issue and in the battle against climate change.

And I’m proud to share that my home state of California has long led the country on climate policy and on innovating clean energy solutions that create good jobs and grow the economy. I am proud to have been part of that leadership as the former Chair of the State Senate Committee on Energy in the State Capitol.

California first adopted a renewable energy mandate in 2002, and we have since raised it! We mandated a smart grid deployment plan for every electrical utility in California and increased emphasis and investments on energy efficiency and energy storage. 

Today, 33% of California’s energy now comes from renewable sources compared to 11% nationally. While California is home to 11% of the nation’s population, we’re home to 17% of the nation’s clean energy jobs.

And no, it’s not a coincidence that California has the largest economy of any state in the nation and the 6th largest economy in the world.

But we’re also suffering. 

This year, California is once again bracing itself for more extreme heat and another record-breaking wildfire year.

Another winter of floods and sea level rise that threatens our coastal communities, a renewed drought that threatens California’s water supply for homes, ecosystems, and agriculture, and another year of homes destroyed and lives lost because of our lack of federal action on climate.

But California is not unique on facing these challenges. Quite the opposite — we’re all feeling its impacts. 

There are communities right now in America where families can’t drink the water because it’s contaminated with lead. Children can’t play in their backyards because of toxic contamination. They deserve our attention and our investment.

And as we recover from COVID, there’s still 9.7 million workers unemployed today.

So, in the face of these challenges, the Green New Deal offers a once-in-a-generation opportunity to build back more sustainably and build back more equitably and show the world what an inclusive, thriving clean energy future can look like.

It’s time for another New Deal with the American people. 

One that tackles the climate crisis head-on and creates good-paying jobs in the process, including a Civilian Climate Corps to rebuild America’s economy.  

One that ensures that communities of color, that have so often been overlooked or left out, are included both in our policy and in our economic recovery.

I want to take a moment to thank the bold leadership of the many young climate activists here today and across the country for their fight to put these issues front and center, not just here in Congress, but in State Capitols around the country. 

Thank you for organizing. Thank you for mobilizing. Thank you for insisting that we face this great challenge and take advantage of this historic opportunity with the urgency that our climate crisis demands. 

Again, thank you Senator Markey and Representative Ocasio Cortez for inviting me to participate today. Before I introduce the next speaker, if you’ll indulge me, a few words en español.

Les doy las gracias al senador Markey (y) la congresista Ocasio-Cortez por su liderazgo sobre varios años contra el cambio climático que esta dañando nuestro país y el mundo.

El nuevo acuerdo verde aspira crear una movilización nacional sobre los siguientes diez años, que lucha contra las crisis económicas, sociales, raciales, y climáticas interconectadas que dañan a nuestro país.

La solución: inversión. No solo en nuestra infraestructura, pero en las comunidades mas dañadas por aire, tierra y agua contaminada.

El nuevo acuerdo verde ofrece justicia para todos.

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