Speaking on the morning of Earth Day, April 22, on Monday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (shown above, beside fellow Democrat, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) declared that if the Big Apple is to “go green,” it will need to ban the very steel and glass towers for which it’s known.
The city’s most iconic skyscrapers are the “biggest source of emissions” in New York City, he insisted.
The dramatic shift, plus a switch to renewable energy within five years, are what’s necessary for New York City to embrace the Green New Deal, de Blasio said.
“We are putting clear, strong mandates” in place to lower emissions, he said.
The radical new proposal known as the Green New Deal — despite its staggering projected cost and requirement for a massive systemic overhaul — is backed by several Democratic 2020 contenders.
It would cost several trillion dollars — in taxpayer money, of course.
De Blasio on Monday also said property owners would face massive fines unless buildings are retrofitted.
He spoke as if New York City would be “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, you’ve got to save energy.”
“If you don’t do it by 2030,” he added, “there will be serious fines, as high as $1 million or more for the biggest buildings.”
He also said, “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,” he added, as Fox News noted as well.
De Blasio also defended his own “non-green” habits, which include his use of a gas-guzzling SUV for his personal 11-mile trips from Gracie Mansion to his Brooklyn gym — a trip he takes daily for his workouts.
“What sort of environmentally responsible example are you setting there, taking this drive in a car as opposed to going to someplace nearby?” MSNBC political analyst Jonathan Lemire asked de Blasio during the interview.
“Let’s make clear, this is just a part of my life,” the mayor insisted. “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 a bubble that I think for a lot of politicians is a huge problem.”
Republicans have some big problems with the Green New Deal de Blasio was touting. They believe it would devastate the economy and require huge tax increases.
In March, the sweeping proposal fell at its first hurdle when the Senate failed to reach the 60 votes necessary to even begin debate on the non-binding resolution, with 42 Democrats and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) voting “present.” No senator voted to begin debate on the legislation — while 57 lawmakers voted against breaking the filibuster.
Democratic Sens. Doug Jones of Alabama, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona joined 53 Republicans in voting “no.” Sen. Angus King (I-Maine), who caucuses with the Democrats, also voted “no.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) had teed up the vote in a bid to make Democratic senators — including several 2020 presidential candidates — go on the record about the measure.
McConnell called the proposal “a radical, top-down, socialist makeover of the entire U.S. economy.”
The Green New Deal calls for the U.S. to shift away from fossil fuels such as oil and coal — and replace them with renewable sources such as wind and solar power.
It calls for virtual elimination by 2030 of greenhouse gas emissions responsible for global warming.
De Blasio — who says he’ll make a decision soon as to whether or not he’s running for the White House in 2020 — has a new $14 billion plan, called “One NYC 2050: Building a Strong and Fair City.”
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