Democratic Candidates Get Behind the Green New Deal

Endorsing the Green New Deal is becoming a talisman of politics in the 2020 Presidential race on the Democratic side.  The Washington Post’s Power Post pointed out that this is a policy that almost no one had heard of last November but is now one of the key planks that appears to have nearly unilateral support.

  • Senator Kamala Harris said, “I support a Green New Deal,” during a CNN town hall in Iowa on Monday. “Climate change is an existential threat to us, and we have got to deal with the reality of it,” she added, according to The Hill.
  • Senator Elizabeth Warren apparently supports the “idea” of a “Green New Deal,” based on comments by one of her Senate aides to Axios.
  • Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said on the podcast “Pod Save America” that “the platform of it is really exciting,” despite the fact that “there’s not a lot of details yet behind the Green New Deal” and has urged the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee to that the United States reach net-zero carbon emissions “by as close to 2050 as possible.”
  • Senator Cory Booker said, “We must take bold action on climate change & create a green economy that benefits all Americans. Excited to support a #GreenNewDeal,” in a tweet on December 14.
  • Representative Tulsi Gabbard also seems to support it because she introduced a bill in the last Congress requiring 100 percent of electricity to be generated from clean sources by 2035.
  • Former HUD Secretary Julian Castro said when he announced his intention to run that “We’re gonna say no to subsidizing big oil and say yes to passing a Green New Deal,” and also endorsed rejoining the Paris Climate agreement.
  • But, But, But…Michael Bloomberg said in New Hampshire on Tuesday that he wants an “achievable” Green New Deal, but also expressed skepticism saying “I’m a little bit tired of listening to things that are pie in the sky that we never are going to pass, are never going to afford.”

The real question is whether the Green New Deal is much more than just a campaign slogan.  Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Sunshine Movement who are leading the charge for it argue it must include that 100 percent of the nation’s electricity come from “clean” sources by 2030 and also a guarantee of a job for every American displaced by this policy in order to facilitate that transition.

Why This Matters:  The conversation is changing already.  To get beyond the slogan is the challenge.  How far are these candidates willing to go?  Will they try to outdo each other on the Green New Deal?  Will they all support the jobs plank?  And is 2030 realistic or just a pipe dream?  Time will tell. But for now, candidates will have to discuss and debate how far and how fast they believe a President can push the U.S. toward a fossil-free future. 

To Go Deeper:  For what might be in the details of a Green New Deal, we recommend this two-part series from Greentech Media.

Up Next

French Local Elections Characterized As A “Green Tsunami”

French Local Elections Characterized As A “Green Tsunami”

This past Sunday, France rode the green wave (or, as some of the French media has dubbed it, the green tsunami) as the country’s green party– Europe Ecologie Les Verts (EELV)– and its allies won big in major cities such as Lyon, Strasbourg, and Bordeaux.  And the mayor of Paris, a socialist, also won handily.

Why This Matters: The local election has already pushed Macron to act on environmental issues.

Continue Reading 438 words
House Dems Chart Course on Climate Change Action

House Dems Chart Course on Climate Change Action

Later this morning, House Democrats — Speaker Pelosi and (FOP) Representative Kathy Castor of the House Special Committee on Climate — will unveil the most detailed and sweeping proposal in a decade for dealing with the climate crisis, which reportedly also weaves environmental justice into every element of the plan. 

Why This Matters:  This is not a plan that the President can lambast as an end to capitalism.

Continue Reading 500 words
Look Folks, There Is Only One Choice For President in 2020 – Joe Biden

Look Folks, There Is Only One Choice For President in 2020 – Joe Biden

By Miro Korenha and Monica Medina When we launched Our Daily Planet over two years ago, we wanted to change the conversation about conservation and climate change – to make these issues a key part of the political and policy discussion so that they would finally be addressed. We firmly believed then and still do […]

Continue Reading 880 words