Overnight Energy: Inslee unveils plan to fight fossil fuel pollution | Poll finds Biden top choice for climate-minded voters | Trump USDA reportedly buried climate warnings

Overnight Energy: Inslee unveils plan to fight fossil fuel pollution | Poll finds Biden top choice for climate-minded voters | Trump USDA reportedly buried climate warnings

A MAN, A PLAN, A CLIMATE: Washington Gov. Jay InsleeJay Robert Inslee2020 Democrats defend climate priorities in MSNBC forum Overnight Energy: Trump officials formally revoke California emissions waiver | EPA's Wheeler dodges questions about targeting San Francisco over homelessness | 2020 Dems duke it out at second climate forum Yang floats nominating Inslee as 'climate czar' MORE (D), a 2020 presidential candidate, on Monday unveiled his plan for tackling fossil fuel pollution, including ending subsidies for oil and gas companies and phasing out fracking.

The proposal, Inslee's fourth plan for addressing climate change, calls for taking on the oil and gas companies he calls "the greatest and most powerful special interests that are holding back our clean energy future."

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Even as candidates compete to showcase their environmental credentials, Inslee's latest plan stands out in its attempt to tackle the source of emissions from what is now the largest producer of greenhouse gas emissions: transportation.

"To build a clean energy economy, we must transition off of fossil fuels, and we will need a President who is willing to stand up to the fossil fuel corporations," Inslee said in a statement on the plan's release.

The White House hopeful's plan would eliminate the nearly $20 billion in yearly subsidies to oil, gas and coal companies.

 

Bullseye on fracking: In additional to baring drilling on federal lands and offshore areas, Inslee's plan specifically targets fracking--a controversial process of pushing water and other chemicals deep underground to push oil out of rock crevices and bring them to the surface.

The process has been associated with contaminated drinking water and credited with helping the U.S. increase its domestic crude supply.

Inslee says he would work with Congress to ban fracking, including limitations on air and water pollution that could stem from the practice.  

He also calls for a "G.I. Bill for Energy Workers" to help workers transition from the oil industry.

Inslee's administration would impose a "Climate Pollution Fee" to hold large polluters accountable for health and environment damages from emissions. It would also reverse President TrumpDonald John TrumpJulián Castro: It's time for House Democrats to 'do something' about Trump Warren: Congress is 'complicit' with Trump 'by failing to act' Sanders to join teachers, auto workers striking in Midwest MORE's American Clean Energy rule, which rolls back Obama-era standards for coal-fired power plants.

The plan would also set a "Climate Test" to ensure all new infrastructure meets environmental standards.

Finally, the environment platform calls for improving corporate climate transparency, giving the government more financial oversight powers.

Read more about the plan here.

 

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BIDEN IN THE LEAD: Former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenJulián Castro: It's time for House Democrats to 'do something' about Trump Warren: Congress is 'complicit' with Trump 'by failing to act' Sanders to join teachers, auto workers striking in Midwest MORE is the top choice for president among likely Democratic voters who are focused on the climate, according to a new poll.

The online poll, released Monday as a collaboration between the Sierra Club and Morning Consult, limited its results to voters who said candidates' plans for the climate are an important factor in their vote. 

While Biden would be the top choice for 37 percent of climate-minded voters, Sens. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders to join teachers, auto workers striking in Midwest Krystal Ball tears into 'Never Trump' Republicans 2020 Democrats defend climate priorities in MSNBC forum MORE (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenWarren: Congress is 'complicit' with Trump 'by failing to act' Sanders to join teachers, auto workers striking in Midwest Pelosi wants to change law to allow a sitting president to be indicted MORE (D-Mass.) came in second and third with 19 percent and 15 percent, respectively. 

The results echo other national polls of Democrats, which have largely found Biden far ahead of Sanders and Warren, with the senators in a tough fight for second place.

 

But climate candidates did not necessarily fare well with climate voters... A number of candidates have unveiled plans to combat climate change, but many of them did not rank highly in the poll.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D), who has made climate change the cornerstone of his campaign and released his fourth climate proposal on Monday, was the top choice for just 1 percent of those polled. Former Rep. Beto O'RourkeBeto O'RourkeNRA deems O'Rourke 'Salesman of the Month' after Arizona gun store sells out of AR-15s during 'Beto Special' MSNBC Climate Change Forum draws 1.3M viewers in 8 pm timeslot The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump pushes back over whistleblower controversy MORE (D-Texas), another candidate who presented a climate plan early in his campaign, polled at 4 percent. 

Biden was one of the more recent candidates to roll out a climate platform, announcing a $5 trillion plan earlier this month. Warren has introduced a public lands package and a green manufacturing plan that both touch on climate issues. Sanders has not announced a major climate plan.

Though Warren ranked third overall in the poll, she polled the highest as voters' second choice, followed by a tie between Sanders and Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisTrump reignites court fight with Ninth Circuit pick MSNBC Climate Change Forum draws 1.3M viewers in 8 pm timeslot Iowa Steak Fry to draw record crowds for Democrats MORE (D-Calif.). 

Read more about the poll here

 

STIFLED CLIMATE REPORTS?: The Department of Agriculture (USDA) has reportedly refused to publicize widespread research on climate change while President Trump has been in office.

The USDA declined to issue press releases or announcements on more than 45 peer-reviewed studies that were cleared through the nonpartisan Agricultural Research Service, Politico reported on Sunday. The studies all point to the potential effects of climate change, ranging from the discovery that rice loses vitamins in a carbon-rich environment to a warning that increased temperatures could boost pollen levels and intensify allergy season, according to the news outlet.

Politico found that the Agricultural Research Service has issued two releases directly related to climate change since the start of Trump's term in 2017 -- one finding that beef production only contributes minimally to greenhouse gas emissions and another that not eating animal products could cause nutritional problems.

Another press release on soy processing reportedly called reducing fossil fuel use or emissions "a personal consideration" for farmers.

"The intent is to try to suppress a message -- in this case, the increasing danger of human-caused climate change," Michael Mann, a climate scientist at Pennsylvania State University who is known for taking on climate skeptics, told Politico. "Who loses out? The people, who are already suffering the impacts of sea level rise and unprecedented super storms, droughts, wildfires and heat waves."  

A USDA spokesperson said that there were no directives to limit the spread of climate-related research.

Read more here

 

ON TAP TOMORROW:

The House will hold hearings on uranium mining and protecting American waterways.

The Senate's Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) Committee will review implementation of the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

 

OUTSIDE THE BELTWAY:

Federal study: 2004 Gulf spill releasing far more than owner claims, we report

Illinois governor signs law aimed at reducing cancer-causing pollution, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Kansas regulators struggle with record-high 22K abandoned oil, gas wells, the Topeka Capital-Journal reports.

 

ICYMI:

Stories from Monday and over the weekend...

High-stakes legal fight looms over Trump pollution rule

Inslee unveils plan to fight fossil fuel pollution, ban fracking

Medical groups: Climate change is 'greatest public health challenge of the 21st century'

Federal study: 2004 Gulf spill releasing far more than owner claims

Trump administration buried reports warning climate change could hurt crops: report

Biden is top choice for climate-minded 2020 voters: Poll