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Monday, July 27, 2015

Is Global Warming the Central Issue for 2016?

The Democratic candidates for the 2016 Presidential campaign seem to be coming together to make Global Warming the main issue. ThinkProgress reports:

Hillary Clinton is going all in on renewable energy.

On Sunday evening, the Democratic presidential candidate released a fact sheet detailing her plan to fight climate change, and it focuses heavily on promoting clean energy generation across the country.

Among other things, the plan includes a promise to install half a billion solar panels by 2021, or the end of Clinton’s first term. That would represent a 700 percent increase from current installations, she said. Clinton also promised that, if elected, enough renewable energy would be produced to power every home in the country within 10 years.

“We can make a transition over time from a fossil fuel economy, predominantly, to a clean renewable energy economy, predominantly,” Clinton said in Iowa on Sunday, Yahoo reported.

Democratic contender Martin O’Malley arguably has an even more aggressive climate agenda. His plan is to make the country powered completely by renewable energy by 2050 — meaning no fossil fuel use at all. He has condemned President Obama for approving offshore drilling, supporting domestic oil production, and shying away from bold stances on high-carbon tar sands oil from Canada, which would be transported by the Keystone XL pipeline if it were approved.

“We cannot meet the climate challenge with an all-of-the-above energy strategy, or by drilling off our coasts, or by building pipelines that bring oil from tar sands in Canada,” O’Malley wrote in an op-ed published last month.

Clinton’s other Democratic rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) hasn’t released an official climate plan yet. But in an interview with the Washington Post in May, he said he would go further than President Obama has in tackling the problem.

Sanders’ plan, he said, “would look like a tax on carbon; a massive investment in solar, wind, geothermal; it would be making sure that every home and building in this country is properly winterized; it would be putting substantial money into rail, both passenger and cargo, so we can move towards breaking our dependency on automobiles. And it would be leading other countries around the world.”

If the Democrats make Global Warming the central issue in the campaign, the Republican Party will be facing very strong headwinds, making their hold on Congress tenuous at best. And, recapturing the White House for the GOP virtually impossible.

The biggest worry, though: Getting a Democratic sweep of the Congress and the Presidency and then seeing a replay of the Clinton-Gore Administration, which dropped the ball on Global Warming. They weren't even as effective as the Bush-Cheney Republican Administration which followed them in office.