How will Matt Gaetz’ Green Real Deal feel?
Matt Gaetz makes the pitch to Donald Trump for a Michael Flynn pardon.

Matt Gaetz 12.12.18
Plan a conservative alternative to AOC Green New Deal.

How will a rising Freedom Caucus star respond to a progressive left icon’s derided environmental plan?

Expect an answer when U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Panhandle Republican, unveils his “Green Real Deal.”

The legislation serves as direct response to U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a New York Democrat whose “Green New Deal” earned attention in February.

Gaetz will release his own proposal at 2 p.m. today at the House Triangle in the U.S. Capitol.

But don’t expect it to be a complete repudiation of an environmental agenda. Rather, Gaetz’s team says his conservative response will “specifically highlight realistic and viable options to combat the effects of climate change.”

That doesn’t mean putting a stop to “farting cows” (a particular derided part of the AOC rollout).

But neither should anyone expect Gaetz to call climate change something made up by “global warming hoaxsters,” as President Donald Trump has done repeatedly.

The conservative firebrand has frequently broken with many in GOP’s right wing who deny global warming. Gaetz in 2017 turned some head when he joined the Climate Solutions Caucus.

The caucus’ founder, former U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo, said he expects a proposal from Gaetz that can realistically win bipartisan support.

“A Green Real Deal is exactly what our country needs,” the Miami Republican said last week. “Matt Gaetz is making the debate about solutions, not science. That’s important.”

In an unusual social media exchange earlier this year, the Republican representative touted agreement with actress-liberal activist Alyssa Milano. A position he brought up? Climate change.

So how will the “Green Real Deal” feel once it’s unveiled?

Expect Gaetz to tout U.S. decreases in greenhouse gas emissions and a promotion of wind, solar and natural gas. Also, Gaetz will identify threats to the U.S. economy and national security stemming from climate change.

But Gaetz will lean on market and tax incentives for clean energy options and efforts to make the U.S. a leader in innovation for new power technologies. That can be done partially with laws protecting intellectual property rights for those developing new ways to harness clean energy.

Gaetz will identify areas where deregulation can speed green power sources.

The Florida Republican has been a close ally of Trump, so it’s possible Gaetz’s plan will mark a shift in GOP talking points on the issue. But everything remains speculation until the plan comes out.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


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