Congressional Democratic establishment wants to replace "Green New Deal" with a climate committee of oil money recipients

The Green New Deal — championed by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other progressive Dems — is one of the most popular Democratic policies in living memory, supported by 81% of registered voters (including 64% of Republicans and 57% of "conservative Republicans"), so of course the Democratic establishment is trying to kill it.

Instead of striking the proposed Green New Deal Select Committee in the House, they will reconvene the Select Committee on Climate Change instead, chaired by six-termer Kathy Castor (D-FL), who has said that she does not support the call for a "No Fossil Fuel Money pledge," which would bar participation by elected officials who took fossil fuel industry money in climate change work.

Castor said she believed that a bar on participation from Reps who had been funded by oil and coal companies could violate the First Amendment (she later said her response had been "inartful").

Castor said she didn't think she'd received oil and coal money but wasn't sure. She has received $73,000 from coal and oil companies and their PACs. She said she "wasn't sure" if she herself would take the pledge.

When asked whether her climate committee would tackle on the kind of large-scale economic reforms that the IPCC has warned are necessary for the survival of our species, Castor said that was "not going to be our sole focus."

It's not clear whether Ocasio-Cortez will be tapped to serve on the climate committee. Neither she nor the other freshman Dems who ran insurgent campaigns calling for a Green New Deal were contacted by House Dem leaders in advance of this announcement.

Because I have financially supported many Democrats' campaigns, I frequently get contacted by the DNC to ask for money. So long as they are more focused on keeping Big Coal and Big Oil happy than they are with ensuring that my daughter will grow old on a planet capable of sustaining human life, they will not get one cent from me. When people complain that Bernie Sanders "isn't a Democrat," remind them that this is what it means to be a Democrat in 2018.

"Nancy Pelosi has the power to determine whether or not the Select Committee for a Green New Deal lives or dies," Weber said. "Sunrise Movement's position is and will continue to be that it's not over until she makes it clear that it's over."

But, earlier this week, Democratic leaders announced that a Green New Deal select committee would lack subpoena power, seemingly sounding the death knell for the resolution.

Castor said the select committee she agreed to chair would likely have subpoena power, but not legislative power. She said she did not know yet which individuals or companies she would use that power to investigate.

"I honestly thought the Democratic Party leaders would see this opportunity," said Waleed Shahid, the communications director for Justice Democrats, a left-wing group championing the Green New Deal proposal. "It's infuriating to see a fellow Democrat basically parrot the talking points of the Koch Brothers when it comes to the very common-sense idea that any politician who accepts donations from the fossil-fuel corporations should not be allowed to legislate on climate change."

Democrats Just Blocked Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Push For A Green New Deal Committee [Alexander C. Kaufman/Huffington Post]