Washington governor and Democratic presidential hopeful Jay Inslee spoke to a crowd in West Sacramento on Saturday, underscoring the need for bold action on climate change and outlining his ambitious climate proposal.
“I’m going to fight to make sure we have 100 percent clean electricity, 100 percent clean private cars and 100 percent non-fossil-fuel-based commercial buildings,” Inslee said at the annual March for Science Sacramento event.
Inslee, one of 20-plus candidates seeking the Democratic party’s nomination for the presidential election in 2020, has made climate change the central issue of his campaign.
On Friday, he released an ambitious proposal to transition the United States to 100 percent renewable and zero-emission energy by 2035. He would also require all new passenger vehicles and buses to be emission-free by 2030.
In an interview with CapRadio after the event in West Sacramento, Inslee framed climate change as an existential issue for the nation and the world.
“We know we have one last chance to defeat climate change, otherwise it’s going to continue to ravage us,” he said.
The governor argues climate change is about more than human-caused global warming — he emphasizes it impacts all major policy areas, including the economy, immigration, national security and health care.
Inslee’s aggressive climate change platform has a receptive audience in progressive states like California. But convincing voters in conservative states, where coal and oil production remain a vital source of jobs and economic activity, will be a harder sell.
Inslee says voters in those areas of the country are starting to see the effects of climate change on their doorsteps, which could sway their vote.
“It’s giant floods flooding Nebraska and Iowa. It’s giant rain storms flooding Houston,” he said. “Now, people are seeing this in their own lives.”
Inslee’s progressive stance on climate change and renewable energy contrasts with the policies of President Trump, who has championed domestic coal and oil production to reduce reliance on foreign energy. In recent weeks, the U.S. Department of the Interior announced a plan to open more than 1 million acres of federal land in California to oil drilling.
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