April 22, 2021 By Christian Murray
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will be hosting an Earth Day celebration at Astoria Park this Saturday just days after reintroducing her signature Green New Deal legislation.
The congresswoman will be attending the event where she will be discussing her legislation as well as her opposition to a power plant proposed for Astoria.
The event Saturday, which will come with the typical small-town trappings of arts & crafts and kids games, will feature several local elected officials who will also weigh in on climate change and the controversial Astoria power plant proposed by NRG.
The congresswoman will be joined by State Senators Mike Gianaris and Jessica Ramos, as well as Assembly Member Zohran Mamdani.
Ocasio-Cortez reintroduced the Green New Deal before Congress on Tuesday, alongside Ed Markey of Massachusetts.
The resolution is essentially an overarching plan that calls for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 40 to 60 percent within 10 years and net-zero global emissions by 2050; the reduction of air and water pollution; the creation of millions of union jobs to repair decaying infrastructure; and aid to communities that will be negatively affected by climate change – such as indigenous peoples.
“The Green New Deal has three core components: jobs, justice and climate,” Ocasio-Cortez said Tuesday. “For so long our movement towards a sustainable future has been divided with the false notion that we have to choose between our planet and our economy and we decided to come together in sweeping legislation that not only rejects that notion but creates a plan.”
Rep. @AOC reintroduces the Green New Deal: ’The climate crisis is a crisis born of injustice and it is a crisis born of the pursuit of profit at any and all human and ecological cost.’ pic.twitter.com/zPywGDF2T3
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) April 20, 2021
The resolution sparked controversy when it was first introduced in 2019, with critics saying it was too expensive and the proposed greenhouse gas reductions too ambitious. The senate did not advance the legislation.
Meanwhile, Ocasio-Cortez will also discuss her opposition to the proposed NRG power plant—along with other elected officials.
NRG aims to replace its 50-year-old “peaker” plant in Astoria. The company says it will build a “state-of-the-art” generator in its place that would significantly reduce gas emissions and cut the cost of electricity. It needs state approval in order to proceed.
But the plant would still rely on gas and officials such as Ocasio-Cortez argue that the facility should generate its power from renewable energy sources.
“Extracted fracked gas releases methane, a greenhouse gas,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote in a joint letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo last month signed by nine congressmembers. The fracking process often leads to methane leaks, which the legislators say makes it as dangerous as coal.
NRG contends that the plant is necessary “to keep the lights on” until more renewable technology comes online.
The event Saturday will go from noon until 3 p.m. with the elected officials speaking between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.
WHEN: Saturday, April 24
Event: 12 – 3pm
WHERE: Astoria Park
Near entrance at 24th Avenue and 19th Street, closer to Shore Blvd