Democratic Presidential Nominees: Stances on Climate Change Action Part 1

When it comes to elections, we try to make the most educated decision on who to vote for based on our core values and beliefs. As I’m sure you all know, when looking at the candidates one of my core values is who could address our ever-growing climate crisis. Below is a brief summary of each candidate based on their support and work on addressing climate change through action.

Please note: This article is not claiming that this is the only issue we should focus on in the presidential election. There are several others factors that must be considered with each candidate such as social justice, economic views, and other values. This article is just highlighting what is known about each candidate on their stance with addressing climate change.

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Michael Bennet

  • Unveiled a plan to put the U.S. on a path to net-zero greenhouse gases (does not include policies of how but stated policies would come in the first 100 days of office)
  • According to Politico, he proposed a “‘Climate X Option’ which would require utilities to prove ‘zero-emission energy to ever household and business’, a new national conservation initiative and a ‘Climate Bank'”
  • In 2017, he cast a vote to keep in place standards to reduce methane emissions on public lands, which harm Colorado’s air quality
  • Opposed the rollbacks of the Paris Agreement, Clean Power Plan, and EPA budget
  • Other source

Joe Biden

  • One of the first senators to introduce a climate change bill in 1986
  • Has supported fuel efficiency standards and caps on greenhouse gases
  • Supports the Green New Deal
  • Proposed his own plan to have zero-net emissions and a 100% clean energy economy by 2050 with a $5 trillion budget

Bill de Blasio

  • Announced an infrastructure effort in Manhattan to combat rising sea levels from climate change
  • Proposed a New York Green New Deal
  • Hopes to ban construction of glass and steel skyscrapers which use a majority of energy in New York
  • Source

Cory Booker

  • Supports the Green New Deal
  • Opposed the Keystone XL pipeline
  • Source

Steve Bullock

  • Supported the Keystone XL pipeline
  • Wants the U.S. to rejoin the Paris Agreement
  • Has not released a climate plan
  • Believes in incorporating solar and wind energy but still supporting coal industry
  • Source

Pete Buttigieg

  • Hopes to lower the cost of solar energy that can be used by each U.S. household
  • Calls for re-training displaced fossil fuel workers
  • Signed a pact to uphold the Paris Agreement
  • Quadruple federal research and development funding for renewable energy
  • Source

Julian Castro

  • Said first executive order as president would be to recommit the U.S. to the Paris Agreement
  • Promotes energy efficient and sustainable housing options in his “People First Housing” plan
  • Pledged not to accept contributions from fossil fuel companies for his campaign
  • In 2015 said he supported fracking as long as it was well-regulated
  • Source

John Delaney

  • Proposed a $375 billion climate plan in May to get the U.S. to net-zero emissions by 2050 through reforestation and other offset actions
  • “Carbon cap and dividend” program: $15 fee on every ton of carbon dioxide emitted, and would increase by $10 every year until the U.S. emissions fell by 90%
  • Increase funding for clean energy
  • Form training programs for youth to work in clean energy departments
  • Source

Tulsi Gabbard

  • Stated funding for the military should be used to combat climate change
  • Opposed the Keystone XL pipeline and traveled to North Dakota to protest its construction in 2016
  • Introduced a measure in 2017 to eliminate tax breaks for fossil fuel companies and have the U.S. generate 100% renewable energy by 2035
  • Votes for pro-environmental measures 96% of the time
  • Source

Kamala Harris

  • Created an environmental justice unit as San Francisco’s district attorney
  • Opposed rollbacks to offshore drilling and car emission standards
  • Supports Green New Deal
  • Vague on fracking and nuclear power
  • Pledged not to take contributions from fossil fuel companies, but has in the past
  • Source

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Candidates who have Proposed Climate Change Plans

Michael Bennet

Joe Biden

John Delaney

Candidates who Support the New Green Deal

Cory Booker

Kamala Harris

Candidates who Support Renewable Energy

Pete Buttigieg

Bill de Blasio

Julian Castro

John Delaney

Tulsi Gabbard

vote-1319435_1280

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