3. The newest Dem hopeful on energy and climate
Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan joined the Democratic 2020 field yesterday and chatted with The Washington Post about his climate and energy stance.
Why it matters: He spent a good chunk of time on those topics and wove them into a broader focus on industrial policy, another sign that climate is no longer on the backburner in national elections.
And Ryan called for a "Green New Deal," which shows how much the term is now in the Democratic bloodstream, although candidates define it differently.
The big picture: "Judging by this first interview, Ryan’s approach — at least for now — appears to lean more directly on incentivizing business investment than it does on direct public expenditures," Paul Waldman and Greg Sargent report.
- "However, when asked what scale of public investments in renewable energies he’d be willing to support, Ryan said, 'we need to sit down with experts in these fields, but it needs to be significant.'"
One level deeper: Ryan said President Trump's emphasis on China fails to counter their outsized role in clean energy tech with a national U.S. strategy on EVs and renewables.
He told the Post: "'This campaign is going to be about the big idea that creates a national industrial policy' that says to China, 'we’re gonna out-compete you.'"
- Tax incentives for low-carbon tech (note: I'm curious to see how much further than the existing provisions he wants to go) and "distressed communities."
- Boosting the number of college graduates in STEM.
- Incentivizing farmers on carbon capture.
- Ensuring coal workers are "plugged into the new economy."
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Speaking of politics, the lefty think tank Data for Progress has tallied one metric of climate's role in the primary fight: how much the candidates are tweeting about it.
Jay Inslee is way ahead, no shock given that his campaign is basically about climate. Rounding out the top 5: Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, John Delaney and Kirsten Gillibrand.