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Delaney: Green New Deal is 'not the best way forward'

Democratic presidential candidate John DelaneyJohn DelaneyCoronavirus Report: The Hill's Steve Clemons interviews Rep. Rodney Davis Eurasia Group founder Ian Bremmer says Trump right on China but wrong on WHO; CDC issues new guidance for large gatherings The Hill's Coronavirus Report: Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas says country needs to rethink what 'policing' means; US cases surpass 2 million with no end to pandemic in sight MORE said Tuesday that even though the Green New Deal has created “energy” around the issue of climate change, the progressive proposal is “not the best way forward.”

“The Green New Deal is positive in many ways because there’s just a lot of energy now around action on climate that the Green New Deal has clearly helped create,” Delaney, who previously represented Maryland's 6th Congressional District, told Hill.TV.

But, he added, the “Green New Deal is not the best way forward."

Delaney’s comments come a week after the Green New Deal failed to advance in the Senate after Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOn The Money: McConnell says he would give Trump-backed coronavirus deal a Senate vote | Pelosi, Mnuchin see progress, but no breakthrough | Trump, House lawyers return to court in fight over financial records Progress, but no breakthrough, on coronavirus relief LGBTQ voters must show up at the polls, or risk losing progress MORE (R-Ky.) brought it up for a vote. The sweeping Democratic measure did not get a single vote, with a majority of Democrats voting present, saying it was a sham vote designed to divide the caucus. Many moderate Democrats are opposed to aspects of the proposal.

Delaney suggested there are other approaches to tackling climate change, and he pointed to his carbon tax proposal, which aims to reduce greenhouse emissions by 40 percent over the next 10 years.

"There’s other ideas like the bipartisan carbon tax I introduced to the Congress," Delaney said. "Democrats and Republicans signing onto a carbon tax, put a price on carbon, discourage its behavior, take all of the money and give it right back to the American people in a dividend."

His proposal would charge fossil fuel companies $15 for each ton of carbon they emit into the air, with subsequent annual increases. Delaney said the money would be distributed to the public via dividends.

Some climate advocates have criticized the proposal, saying it doesn’t offer dramatic enough reductions to address the impact of climate change.

Delaney, who is considered a long shot to win the Democratic nomination, insists that he could get the bipartisan bill passed within the first year of his presidency.

“I can get that passed in my first year as president with all of the Democrats and Republicans who live in coastal states,” he told Hill.TV.

He also said lawmakers should be focused more on approaches like boosting investment in research and technology, that he says could get support from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

“We should be massively investing in clean energy research because we fundamentally can’t solve this problem without new technologies, and that’s bipartisan,” he said.

—Tess Bonn