The journalists on Monday's Morning Joe offered very little push back to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio as he appeared to push his city's own version of the Green New Deal (GND). Co-host Joe Scarborough began asking "What are you doing" and how would New York's effort "provides a road map for Democrats and independents and some progressive or forward thinking Republicans nationwide?"
De Blasio then outlined the city's GND: "We’re putting clear, strong mandates. The first of any major city on the Earth to say to building owners, “You got to clean up your act, you got to retrofit, you got to save energy. If you don't do it by 2030, there’ll serious fines as high as a $1 million or more for the biggest buildings.”
De Blasio then got the part of New York's GND that sounded like it was lifted straight out of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's infamous roll-out. "We are going to ban the classic glass and steel skyscrapers which are incredibly inefficient," the mayor declared, adding that "We are going to get all of our energy from renewable sources in the next five years."
Morning Joe did not push back on either the practicality of the idea of banning steel and glass skyscrapers or moving to renewables by 2024, an ambitious time table for a city that has set a ten year timetable just to modernize the subway system. Nor did they ask why de Blasio considers it his responsibility to micromanage the city in such a way, especially considering his plan will have no actual impact on the environment given that New York is just one city in a world that contains countries such as India and China.
Associated Press White House reporter Jonathan Lemire did ask de Blasio whether he was being hypocritical for taking his car and security detail from Gracie Mansion in the Upper East Side to a gym eleven miles away in Brooklyn when there are gyms much closer to where he lives. De Blasio said that he was not because of "the example we are setting" and that he goes to Brooklyn "on a regular basis to stay connected to where I come from and not be in the bubble that, I think for a lot of politicians is a problem." He concluded his remarks on New York's Green New Deal by saying that, "The fact is, those cars and that security detail are part of the life of being Mayor of New York City."
Here is a transcript for the April 22 show:
8:55 AM ET
JOE SCARBOROUGH: So, talk about New York's Green New Deal. Obviously, the 1% in congress is actually causing a riff, even among Democrats. What are you doing in New York City. How does that provide a road map for Democrats and independents and some progressive or forward thinking Republicans nationwide?
BILL DE BLASIO: We are actually making the Green New Deal come alive here in New York City. We have our own Green New Deal, three very basic ideas. One, the biggest source of emissions in New York City is buildings. We’re putting clear, strong mandates. The first of any major city on the Earth to say to building owners, “You got to clean up your act, you got to retrofit, you got to save energy. If you don't do it by 2030, there’ll serious fines as high as a $1 million or more for the biggest buildings.” This mandate is going to guarantee we reduce emissions. We are going to ban the classic glass and steel skyscrapers which are incredibly inefficient. If someone wants to build one of those things, you can take a whole lot of steps to make it energy efficient, but we’re not going to allow what we used to see in the past and the city of New York, the government, which uses as much energy in a year as do the people and the businesses of the state of Vermont. We are going to get all of our energy from renewable sources in the next five years.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: Jonathan Lemire
JONATHAN LEMIRE: These are the big, broad strokes for the plan, they could have wide impact, civic decisions. But there's also personal things people can do. You talk about a lot of the things you do in your own life. You recycle. Your staff says you turn off lights and so on. But, I also do need to ask, you live on the Upper East Side in Gracie Mansion. Most days or several days a week a city SUV drives you 11 miles to a gym in Brooklyn as opposed one that’s close on the Upper East Side where you reside. What sort of environmentally responsible example are you setting there, taking this drive, in a car, as opposed to going somewhere nearby?
DE BLASIO: The example we are setting, first and foremost, let’s look at the exact question before us. The plans we put forward we are acting on will reduce emissions 30% in all of New York City by 2030. That's where we make huge change. To the question, you ask, look, wherever I go in New York City, whether I take a subway, go nearby or farther away to another borough, I have a security detail that follows me in their cars either way. Let's be clear, this is part of my life. I come from that neighborhood in Brooklyn. That's my home. I go there on a regular basis to stay connected to where I come from and not be in the bubble that, I think for a lot of politicians is a problem. The fact is, those cars and that security detail are part of the life of being mayor of New York City.