Inslee unveils climate plan to support rural communities

Inslee unveils climate plan to support rural communities
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White House hopeful and Washington Gov. Jay InsleeJay Robert InsleeO'Rourke ends presidential bid Sunrise Movement organizer: Sanders, Warren boast strongest climate change plans Overnight Energy: Farmers say EPA reneged on ethanol deal | EPA scrubs senators' quotes from controversial ethanol announcement | Perry unsure if he'll comply with subpoena | John Kerry criticizes lack of climate talk at debate MORE (D) unveiled a new climate change plan Wednesday intended to cut greenhouse gas emissions from farming while rewarding producers for eco-friendly advances.

“My Growing Rural Prosperity plan will reinvigorate America's rural and farming communities, while empowering farmers to benefit from enormous economic opportunities as we build America’s clean economy and work to defeat climate change,” Inslee, who has put climate change at the center of his long-shot presidential bid, said in a statement. 

The plan is the sixth and final prong of Inslee's “Climate Mission” agenda.

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Inslee says he would invest in agricultural innovations to reverse climate change’s impacts by launching a carbon farming initiative to reward farmers who work to capture greenhouse gasses, triple funding for the Conservation Stewardship Program and establish new standards to urge development of low-carbon biofuels and sustainable bio-based products. 

To further help farmers, Inslee said he would end the White House’s “erratic and unnecessary trade policies," which have been criticized for cutting sales to China.

Inslee said he would advance "aggressive anti-trust action” and implement new health and labor protections for farm workers.

The plan also calls for the creation of a next-generation rural electrification initiative to revitalize rural economies and investments in rural broadband and infrastructure improvements against droughts and floods.

Inslee, who has yet to qualify for the next presidential debate in September, rolled out a slate of endorsements for his new plan.

“Governor Inslee’s plan would enable American agriculture to lead our country’s effort to combat the worst consequences of climate change. He creates new ways for government to partner with producers that promises better incomes for farmers and ranchers and better outcomes for the environment,” Former Iowa Gov. Tom VilsackThomas James VilsackUSDA: Farm-to-school programs help schools serve healthier meals OVERNIGHT MONEY: House poised to pass debt-ceiling bill MORE (D), a onetime Agriculture secretary, said in a statement.

Climate change has become a central issue for the Democratic base as the presidential primary gets underway. An April CNN poll found that 96 percent of Democrats believed it was “very” or “somewhat” important to take “aggressive action to slow the effects of climate change.”