Dem Rep. Mondaire Jones: We need to decarbonize our economy


Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-NY) appeared on CNN to blast a “carbonized economy” for causing recent natural disasters. His own district was hit hard by Hurricane Ida.

“Well, time is running out and people are dying,” Jones told host John King. “People’s properties have been damaged irreparably and we must act for that reason to decarbonize our economy.”

Instead of addressing the current need to rebuild his district, Jones focused on the policies he’d like to enact. “The great thing is, John, we can do this while creating millions of good-paying union jobs in the green economy which will give us a competitive advantage as compared to other nations in the world. We can do all of these things,” Jones said. “We can create hundreds of thousands of electric charging stations for vehicles. We can invest, in unprecedented way, in renewable energy infrastructure, including wind and solar. We can do all of these things as part of this larger infrastructure package. That is precisely what I believe we will do. I’m so proud of the President for his leadership in this area, as in so many other areas, and again, just extremely optimistic that we will meet this moment.”

Earlier this week, he tweeted about his commitment to bring “climate justice.” As a result of these storms, “communities of color bear the brunt of climate disasters,” Jones tweeted Monday.

Now, Jones is taking the first step to invest in climate change initiatives by calling for a new Federal Reserve chair. Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) and Chuy Garcia (D-IL) recently wrote a letter to the president to do just that. “We urge President Biden to reimagine a federal reserve focused on eliminating climate risk and advancing racial and economic justice,” the letter read.

Then, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi echoed the progressive lawmakers in pointing out recent climate disasters. “On another note as we see the wildfires in the west, we see them at home. It’s so devastating,” Pelosi said at a press conference Wednesday. “As you see the floods of Ida, the storms of Ida in the south and in the northeast, mother nature is not happy with us in terms of how we recognize the challenges face us.”

Biden visited Jones’ district Sunday, following Hurricane Ida. He assured residents that he would build back better infrastructure to protect from future natural disasters. But, he also said the current climate situation is at a “code red” level.

You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism.