Overnight Energy & Environment

Overnight Energy: Warren wants Dems to hold climate-focused debate | Klobuchar joins candidates rejecting fossil fuel money | 2020 contender Bennet offers climate plan

Greg Nash

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Lots of 2020 climate news to unwrap today, so let’s get to it!…


WARREN BACKS CALLS FOR CLIMATE FOCUSED DEBATE: Presidential contender Elizabeth Warren is adding her voice to a chorus of candidates and environmental groups asking for a Democratic primary debate focused on climate.

The Massachusetts senator tweeted Monday that she is in support of the idea.

“During selfie lines, people often press notes into my hands to explain why they’re in this fight. Last week in VA, I got a note asking if I support a climate debate,” Warren tweeted. “Yes! We need to do everything we can to save our planet.”{mosads}

Warren joins Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) in asking for a debate focused entirely on the issues of global warming, climate action and environmental policies.

Inslee, a candidate who is tying his entire platform to climate, penned a letter in April to his fellow 2020 Democrats asking them to call on the Democratic National Committee to hold a climate debate.

“We have barely a decade to defeat climate change. And whether we shrink to this challenge, or rise to it, is the central question of our time – and it deserves a full DNC debate,” Inslee wrote.

The Sierra Club, CREDO, Moveon.org and other environmental groups have also called for a debate with the singular focus.

Voters paying attention: Climate change has risen to the top as a major issue for likely Democratic voters. A poll last week also found the issue has risen to prominence amongst all voters.

More on Warren’s support here.


KLOBUCHAR 13TH DEM CANDIDATE TO SIGN FOSSIL FUEL DONATIONS PLEDGE: Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) is joining the ranks of a dozen other 2020 presidential hopefuls in committing to limit fossil fuel donations to her campaign.

Klobuchar announced on Twitter Monday that she would not take contributions over $200 from the fossil fuel industry, including executives, lobbyists or PACs, and would “instead prioritize the health of our families, climate, and democracy over fossil fuel industry profits.”

The senator joins former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and others in signing the pledge, which was organized by the Sunrise Movement, a youth climte group.

“This is essential to show young voters you stand with our generation, not fossil fuel CEOs,” Sunrise tweeted Monday in response to Klobuchar’s signing.

Who is not on board: Candidates who have refrained from signing the pledge include California Sen. Kamala Harris (D) and former Vice President Joe Biden (D).

Klobuchar also backs the progressive Green New Deal climate plan and signed on as a co-sponsor to the resolution in the Senate. She has not released any personal climate change action plan, unlike her rivals O’Rourke and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D).

More on the pledge here.


BENNET LATEST 2020 CANDIDATE TO UNVEIL CLIMATE PLAN: Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Michael Bennet (Colo.) on Monday in Iowa unveiled a climate plan, joining the ranks of other Democrats rolling out proposals for fighting climate change.

The plan’s goals: Bennet’s proposal would require 100 percent net-zero emissions by 2050 — a target that has proved controversial for other candidates — commit to preserving 30 percent of America’s lands and oceans and create a climate bank that would dole out $10 billion in investments in green infrastructure both in the U.S. and abroad.

Bennet would also require all power providers to offer customers the choice of powering their homes with emission-free energy.

“I’m frustrated we keep losing to climate denial in this country,” Bennet said in a call with reporters. “We’re going to have to figure out how to engage the entire country in this work and entire economy in this work.”  

If Bennet were to win the White House, his proposal says that on his first day in office he would sign an executive order to rejoin the Paris climate accord and create an American Climate Council, which would help develop a climate plan over the next 99 days. That group would lay out the specifics for deciding how the U.S. would reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

Bennet’s goal would be to implement that plan in nine months through Congress, though he says “if a corruption of inaction continues to prevent it,” he would use the Clean Air Act and other presidential powers to push portions of his climate plan.

He also wants to convene world leaders within his first 100 days to set more ambitious targets for fighting climate change by 2030.

A jab at Trump: Calling President Trump a “climate denier who never should have been president in the first place,” Bennet said his plan was designed to quickly take action on some fronts while others would endure during future administrations. He acknowledged, however, that without congressional action future presidents could undo his work.

“We’ve got to do both. We’ve got to be urgent, and we’ve got to make progress over time,” he said.

Bennet said job growth in the green energy sector could be used to battle a president that won by talking about jobs, and his plans set a goal of creating 10 million jobs in that sector within 10 years.

Read more on Bennet’s plan here.



On Tuesday, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources committee will vote on the nomination of Daniel Jorjani, the top lawyer for the Department of the Interior who has been under scrutiny for his connections to Secretary David Bernhardt’s ethics problems. His hearing was held alongside Mark Lee Greenblatt, the nominee to the head Interior’s inspector general, who will also get a vote on Tuesday.

Other hearings include a House Science and Technology Committee on preparing infrastructure for climate change and a hearing on the budgets of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the Fish and Wildlife Service.

House Appropriations will mark up the Department of Energy spending bill.



Earthworm dilemma has scientists racing, The New York Times reports.

Bucking environmentalists, DeSantis signs bill expanding toll roads, The Herald Tribune reports.

States aren’t waiting for the Trump administration on environmental protections, The Washington Post reports

Trump threatens to cut millions from fire departments in California after deadly wildfires, The Sacramento Bee reports.



Stories from Monday and over the weekend…

Bennet latest 2020 candidate to unveil climate plan

Klobuchar becomes 13th Democratic candidate to pledge not to accept fossil fuel money

Warren backs calls for climate-focused debate

Whole Foods to stop offering plastic straws

Tags Amy Klobuchar Bernie Sanders Beto O'Rourke Donald Trump Elizabeth Warren Jay Inslee Joe Biden Michael Bennet
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