Over 170 environmental leaders urge supporters to vote for Biden, not Green Party

Over 170 environmental leaders urge supporters to vote for Biden, not Green Party

Nearly 200 environmental leaders signed an open leader on Monday urging likeminded voters to support Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden says voters should choose who nominates Supreme Court justice Trump, Biden will not shake hands at first debate due to COVID-19 Joe Biden should enact critical government reforms if he wins MORE in the November election instead of casting their ballots for the Green Party's candidate.

“Angry right-wing voters and liberal absentees put Trump in the White House in 2016,” the letter reads. “In 2020 the same unholy team could keep him there. Progressives who vote for the Green Party candidate, or write in Henry David Thoreau, or refuse to vote at all for lack of an ideal choice will give Donald Trump precisely what he wants, and enough such pious gestures will produce catastrophic results.”

Signers of the letter include Earth Day founder Denis Hayes, Environmental Action coordinator Peter Harnik and former Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope.

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Green Party nominee Howie Hawkins has qualified for the ballot in 31 states and Washington, D.C., although polling indicates a far smaller percentage of voters is leaning toward a third-party candidate than in 2016.

Hawkins told the Daily Beast that if Biden were to lose by a margin of fewer votes than the Green Party nominee received, it would be the former vice president's fault for failing to motivate the Democratic base.

"I'd be disappointed that Biden didn't get his base out," he told the publication. "Right now, you look at the polls, Trump is toast. And what is Biden saying? He's Uncle Joe. He's not Trump but what policy is he a champion of?”

While Biden has pledged to rejoin the Paris climate agreement and invest in renewable energy, he has frustrated many in the party’s progressive wing by declining to support the Green New Deal. He also recently emphasized his opposition to bans on fracking after President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says voters should choose who nominates Supreme Court justice Trump, Biden will not shake hands at first debate due to COVID-19 Pelosi: Trump Supreme Court pick 'threatens' Affordable Care Act MORE falsely claimed the former vice president supported them.

Another signer, Diane MacEachern, said that despite flaws in Biden’s approach to environmental issues, Trump’s reelection would actively exacerbate environmental problems.

“There is no environmental problem we faced when Donald Trump assumed the presidency three-and-a-half years ago that is in any way better today. If anything, they will get worse,” MacEachern told the Daily Beast. “We can either try and put out the fire or we can fan the flame.”