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

Democratic presidential candidate John DelaneyJohn Kevin DelaneyJulián Castro is behind in the polls, but he's finding a niche Democratic strategist predicts most 2020 candidates will drop out in late fall The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump hits media over 'send her back' coverage 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 McConnellMcConnell challenger faces tougher path after rocky launch Funding a strong defense of our nation's democratic process can't wait The Hill's Morning Report: Trump walks back from 'send her back' chants 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