Democrats face off on climate change positions in first debate

Democrats face off on climate change positions in first debate
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A group of Democratic presidential hopefuls sparred over climate change policies Wednesday night, spending several minutes discussing the issue in the first primary debate of the 2020 race.
Washington Gov. Jay InsleeJay Robert InsleeBarr asked prosecutors to explore charging Seattle mayor over protest zone: report Bottom line Oregon senator says Trump's blame on 'forest management' for wildfires is 'just a big and devastating lie' MORE, former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeJimmy Carter says his son smoked pot with Willie Nelson on White House roof O'Rourke endorses Kennedy for Senate: 'A champion for the values we're most proud of' 2020 Democrats do convention Zoom call MORE (Texas), former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, Rep. Tim RyanTimothy (Tim) RyanNow's the time to make 'Social Emotional Learning' a national priority Mourners gather outside Supreme Court after passing of Ruth Bader Ginsburg Lincoln Project hits Trump for criticizing Goodyear, 'an American company' MORE (Ohio) and former Rep. 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 (Md.) all agreed that climate change was happening and should to be dealt with.
Inslee, who has based nearly his entire campaign on combating climate change, argued that he was the only Democratic candidate who would promise to make the issue their first priority if elected to the White House.
"The most important thing on this, and the biggest thing for the American public, is — who is going to make this the first priority?" Inslee said. "I am the only candidate who says this has to be the top issue."
O'Rourke, who like Inslee has introduced a policy proposal to address climate change if he were to win, pointed to carbon capture as a method he'd utilize to fix the issue.
"Houston and Miami, those people are on the front lines of climate change today — we are going to free ourselves from the dependence of fossil fuels and capture more carbon in the air, and keep more in the soil," he said.
Pointing to his time spent in hurricane-devastated San Juan, Puerto Rico, Castro said his first focus would be on repledging the U.S. to the Paris climate agreement, which President TrumpDonald John TrumpSteele Dossier sub-source was subject of FBI counterintelligence probe Pelosi slams Trump executive order on pre-existing conditions: It 'isn't worth the paper it's signed on' Trump 'no longer angry' at Romney because of Supreme Court stance MORE announced a withdrawal from in 2017.
Ryan dodged offering specifics on a climate plan he might have, instead warning that Democrats risked losing middle-class and Midwestern voters by focusing on "coastal" and "Ivy League issues."
"We can talk about climate. We can talk about guns. We can talk about all of these issues we care about. We have a perception problem with the Democratic Party," he said.
"We are not connecting to the middle-class people. We have got to hinge the center of gravity from being coastal and elitist and Ivy League ... to getting those workers back on our side so we can say we are going to build solar, we are going to build electric vehicles."
Candidates debated potential approaches to combating climate change after the topic was raised by moderators near the end of the two-hour debate.
The candidates were among 10 who appeared in the first Democratic presidential debate Wednesday night, along with Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenHillicon Valley: Subpoenas for Facebook, Google and Twitter on the cards | Wray rebuffs mail-in voting conspiracies | Reps. raise mass surveillance concerns On The Money: Anxious Democrats push for vote on COVID-19 aid | Pelosi, Mnuchin ready to restart talks | Weekly jobless claims increase | Senate treads close to shutdown deadline Democratic senators ask inspector general to investigate IRS use of location tracking service MORE (Mass.), Amy KlobucharAmy Klobuchar3 reasons why Biden is misreading the politics of court packing Social media platforms put muscle into National Voter Registration Day Battle lines drawn on precedent in Supreme Court fight MORE (Minn.) and Cory BookerCory Anthony Booker3 reasons why Biden is misreading the politics of court packing Bipartisan praise pours in after Ginsburg's death DHS opens probe into allegations at Georgia ICE facility MORE (N.J.) as well as Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardRepublicans call on DOJ to investigate Netflix over 'Cuties' film Hispanic Caucus campaign arm endorses slate of non-Hispanic candidates Gabbard says she 'was not invited to participate in any way' in Democratic convention MORE (Hawaii) and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.