Mar 26, 2019

Hickenlooper: Green New Deal sets "unachievable" goals

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Former Colorado governor and 2020 Democratic hopeful John Hickenlooper denounced the Green New Deal in a Washington Post op-ed published on Tuesday, contending that while he supports the "concept" of the sweeping resolution seeking to combat climate change, it "sets unachievable goals" and would inflate the government.

"Some versions of the Green New Deal, such as the resolution from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) that the Senate is set to vote on Tuesday, express laudable aims but also take an approach that limits our prospects for success ... If climate change policy becomes synonymous in the U.S. psyche with higher utility bills, rising taxes and lost jobs, we will have missed our shot "
— Hickenlooper wrote

Details: Hickenlooper added that the resolution "sets the Green New Deal up for failure" because it doesn’t treat the private sector as a partner in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and creating clean-energy jobs.

  • "To achieve the kinds of innovations needed to tackle the climate crisis, government must not shun the private sector, but rather must work closely with industry and our nation’s great research universities," he wrote.

Our thought bubble, per Axios energy reporter Ben Geman: Hickenlooper is looking for moderate turf in the crowded and often progressive primary field. That makes his decision to promote his opposition to the Capitol Hill resolution just as noteworthy as his comments. It’s fresh evidence that climate change has broken through into a mainstream political topic after years on the back-burner.

Go deeper: Green New Deal: Where the 2020 presidential candidates stand

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Public transit's death spiral

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Public transit systems across the country are experiencing a painful trifecta: Ridership has collapsed, funding streams are squeezed, and mass transit won't bounce back from the pandemic nearly as fast as other modes of transportation.

Why it matters: Transit agencies could see an annual shortfall of as much as $38 billion due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to TransitCenter. At the same time, they're more important than ever, with more than 36% of essential workers relying on public transportation to get to work.

World coronavirus updates: London mayor says U.K. nowhere near lockdown lifting

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern offered hope in the fight against the novel coronavirus, saying she believes New Zealand has "turned a corner" after two weeks of strict lockdown measures. But London Mayor Sadiq Khan has said the U.K. is "nowhere near" lifting restrictions.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed over 82,000 people and infected 1.4 million others globally as of early Wednesday, per Johns Hopkins data. Global recoveries have surpassed 301,000. Spain has reported the most cases outside the U.S. (more than 141,000) and Italy the most deaths (over 17,000). Half the planet's population is on lockdown.

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Wisconsin may be the start of the 2020 election wars

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Wisconsin voters braving lines in face masks — after a last-minute Supreme Court ruling against extending the absentee deadline — could foreshadow a nationwide legal struggle over how to conduct elections during the coronavirus outbreak, election experts say.

Why it matters: "It's a harbinger of what's to come in the next skirmishes in the voting wars" from now through November, Richard Hasen, a professor and national election law expert at the University of California, Irvine, told Axios.