Dec 10, 2019

Warren wants a "blue new deal"

Photo Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

Elizabeth Warren is out with new plans to speed up offshore wind projects, expand marine sanctuaries, and bolster use of oceans to soak up carbon emissions.

Driving the news: Those are three pillars of the far wider "Blue New Deal" — a riff on the "Green New Deal" concept — on ocean policy that the Democratic White House hopeful unveiled Tuesday.

Why it matters: Politically, the plan's arrival follows Warren's recent slide in the polls after challenging Joe Biden for frontrunner status in the fall.

  • There's plenty of competition for the green mantle as Bernie Sanders, Warren's rival for progressive voters, touts his plans.
  • Billionaire climate advocates like Mike Bloomberg — who is at UN climate talks in Spain today — and Tom Steyer are spending heavily.

How it works, part 1: Energy-related provisions in Warren's plan include...

  • A vow to "streamline and fast-track permitting" for offshore wind, which Warren accuses President Trump of slow-walking even as developers seek to build major Atlantic Coast projects.
  • Calling on Congress to approve long-term extensions of renewable energy tax credits and provide more resources to the Interior Department's offshore energy branches.
  • Pledging to restore Obama-era bans on Arctic offshore drilling as part of her wider opposition to new offshore leases and phasing out existing offshore development.
  • A push to electrify shipping ports, which are hives of heavy-duty diesel vehicle traffic

How it works, part 2: On climate, Warren vows an executive order requiring the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to bolster ocean carbon sequestration efforts.

  • "I will also direct NOAA to map and establish 'Blue Carbon Zones' in federal waters, so that we can identify, protect, and manage these highly productive areas."

Quick take: The plan blends Warren's jobs and economic justice messages into her environmental posture.

  • For instance, it says additional subsidies and tax benefits for large ocean renewable projects would be subject to "community benefits agreements" that "should include requirements for prevailing wages and collective bargaining rights."
  • And this line about getting offshore wind projects approved stood out: "The climate crisis is too urgent to let the ultra-wealthy complain about wind turbines getting in the way of their ocean views."

Go deeper:

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Denmark generated almost half of its electricity from wind in 2019

Wind turbines in the Baltic Sea. Photo: Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images

Wind power accounted for a record 47% of the electricity consumed in Denmark in 2019, up from 41% in 2018 and 43% in 2017, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: The country’s grid operator Energinet said Thursday that cost reductions and improved offshore turbines contributed to the boost.

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Warren makes her economic case for the Green New Deal

Elizabeth Warren speaks with the media after the Democratic presidential primary debate. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Elizabeth Warren is making an economically focused push on climate Friday as she seeks to regain momentum after briefly challenging for frontrunner status months ago.

Driving the news: The campaign is circulating a new analysis from the progressive think tank Data for Progress, which concludes her proposals would yield roughly 10.6 million jobs over 10 years.

Go deeperArrowDec 20, 2019

Warren lays out what she'd target during first 100 days on climate

Photo: Scott Eisen/Getty Images

Elizabeth Warren, in a BuzzFeed News column published Wednesday, laid out what she'd seek to accomplish in her first 100 days on climate change.

Why it matters: Presidents have to make tough choices about where to deploy political capital, so Warren is signaling that this would be a priority.

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