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O'Rourke changes his tune on fossil fuel donations

Presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke
Photo: Stephen Lam/Getty Images

Presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke is pledging to reject donations from the fossil fuel sector and will be returning such funds he has already raised that were greater than $200, reports AP.

Why it matters: Wednesday evening's news comes just 2 days after O'Rourke unveiled a $5 trillion climate plan to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. He previously declined to sign a "no fossil fuel money" promise back in April, per Bloomberg. But the Texas-based 2020 candidate changed course on Wednesday with the support of environmental groups, per the AP.

The backdrop: The O'Rourke campaign announced that the Texas-based candidate raised $9.4 million in the first quarter, stating that 98% of the donations were for less than $200. The AP notes that according to the Center for Responsive Politics, O’Rourke accepted more than $540,000 in donations from the oil and gas industry during last year's midterms.

Go deeper: Beto O'Rourke: Everything you need to know about the 2020 candidate