Gillibrand: 'Severe Weather Is the Greatest Threat to Humanity We Have'

Susan Jones | February 26, 2019 | 6:22am EST
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Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) at the Democratic National Convention on July 25, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

( - Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), a potential presidential contender in 2020, stands firmly behind the "Green New Deal."

"We believe we should rebuild America so it's more efficient," she told Fox News's Chris Wallace on Monday.

Wallace asked how she would respond to people who tell her, "They're lovely ideas; they're just too expensive."

"Let's take one idea," Gillibrand said. "Let's just take what the Green New Deal is. Global climate change, severe weather is the greatest threat to humanity we have.

"Scientists have just reached the conclusion that it's happening far quicker than we know. And what New Yorkers know and what people all across this country know is when severe weather hits, people die. It destroys communities. Did you see Staten Island after 9/11, communities destroyed, homes destroyed, families lost--"

"What about the trillions of dollars?" Wallace interrupted.

"But let's talk about it first -- just a second," Gillibrand continued. "So when John F. Kennedy was president, he said, let's put a man on the moon in the next 10 years, not because it's easy, but because it's hard. It'll be a measure of our innovation, our entrepreneurialism, our excellence.

"Why not say to the American people, global climate change is not only real, but the urgency of this moment requires a call to action to all of America's engineers, all of our entrepreneurs, all of our innovators to say, let's solve the problem together, let's, over the next 10 years, do three things."

Gillibrand called for investment in green energy, specifying "wind, solar, geothermal, hydropower, nuclear, bio fuels."

"Listen, we were the inventors of solar power and wind. We let that manufacturing go to China, because we didn't guarantee the tax benefits to make it work here. So why not make a commitment, not only to these new energies, but to the job training."

She also called for investments in infrastructure:

"We believe we should rebuild America so it's more efficient, more mass transit, more high speed rail. And last, clean air and clean water -- all of us agree no child should have to drink water out of a faucet that's tainted."

"It's an ambition for the future that we should all get behind," she added.

Gillibrand never answered the question about how to pay for it all, and Wallace changed the subject.

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