Week in Review: May 3, 2019

Climate change continued to be a top priority for campaigns and voters this week as multiple candidates provided more details on how they would tackle the climate crisis. Plus, a new CNN poll ranked climate as the most important issue with 96 percent of respondents said  it was “at least very important a presidential candidate supports ‘taking aggressive action to slow the effects of climate change.’”

Candidate & Policy Announcements

Governor Jay Inslee (D-WA) released his 100 percent Clean Energy For America Plan, the first components of “a 10-year mobilization to defeat climate change and create millions of jobs building a just, innovative and inclusive clean energy future.” Inslee’s plan “commits to a 100% clean electricity standard by 2030, zero-carbon pollution from new buildings and zero-emissions standards for new vehicles and buses.”


Former Congressman Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) announced an ambitious four-part plan to tackle climate change. O’Rourke’s plan “commits to prioritizing both executive and legislative action to immediately cut pollution, achieve net zero emissions by 2050, invest at an unprecedented scale in communities bearing the brunt of harmful pollution and those in economic transition, create good, family-sustaining jobs and more.”

Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO) entered the race this week, making the announcement on CBS This Morning. CNN reported that he “plans to run a campaign centered around… modernizing the country by combatting climate change and investing in infrastructure” among other issues, and the New York Times listed climate change as one of his top issues.  

In South Carolina, Senator Cory Booker called “environmental inequality one of today’s civil rights battles” and noted that the “federal government hasn’t done enough to ensure all Americans have equal access to clean, healthy communities.” Booker unveiled elements of his environmental justice plan, which would significantly strengthen the EPA and hold polluters accountable in order to protect communities most impacted by pollution. Booker noted, “The Trump administration has gutted the EPA, rolled back clean air and clean water protections, and allowed polluters to go unchecked, causing immense harm and suffering by vulnerable communities.”

Former Governor John Hickenlooper (D-CO) rolled out his “New Open and Fair Trade Policy” which includes climate and environmental standards. The policy notes, “Hickenlooper believes open and fair trade cannot come at the expense of America’s or the planet’s environment. Hickenlooper will particularly incorporate climate change goals into our trade agreements. The success of the planet’s efforts to combat climate change ultimately depend on international cooperation; we cannot do it alone.”

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) announced a clean elections public financing plan, which she said would help address climate change and other issues. “To get anything done in Washington, we have to address the money and greed that corrupts politicians and prevents progress on issues like gun violence prevention, lowering the cost of prescription drugs and addressing climate change,” Gillibrand said.  

Climate at Events, In the Media, & On Social Media

Congressman Tim Ryan (D-OH) spoke about his plans to tackle climate change by focusing on the jobs and economic opportunities stemming from clean energy and electric vehicles on Pod Save America.

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) called for efforts to prepare infrastructure for the impacts of climate change in a tweet.

In Iowa, Congressman Eric Swalwell (D-CA) advocated for shifting the language to “climate chaos,” and “said the first thing he would do (as president) is to host in the United States a new “Climate Accord,” and invite every country to participate.”

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) tweeted support for Iowans dealing with floods and called for “big, structural change” to address climate change.

Andrew Yang noted that climate change is an existential threat in Iowa but said he would prioritize his plan to help people struggling financially.  

At an event in Pennsylvania, former Vice President Joe Biden (D-DE) spoke about investing in the clean energy economy, saying “It means rebuilding America clean — renewable energy, cleaner safer faster transportation, which will not only make us safer, will make our communities [safer] for our children, but will provide millions of good paying, middle-class jobs.”

Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN) appeared on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, where he focused on local impacts and the importance of communicating how policies to address it will make our everyday lives betters noting “This is a safety issue for you and me… in our homes and neighborhoods.”

Former Secretary Julián Castro (D-TX) hosted at round table discussion on climate and conservation priorities in Nevada with the Nevada Conservation League, Chispa Nevada, and other local leaders and spoke about climate action at a forum on wages and working people hosted by SEIU and CAP Action in Las Vegas. Castro also campaign on his commitment to rejoin the Paris agreement and invest in clean energy in New Hampshire.

In Iowa, former Congressman John Delaney (D-MD) campaigned on his Climate Corps plan enlisting young people to work on service projects addressing climate change well as his carbon fee proposal. Delaney advocated for innovation in decarbonization to address climate change on MSNBC.

Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) tweeted about protecting our public lands and standing up to Big Polluters.

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