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Over 7 Hours, 10 Candidates Talked Climate Change

Democrats reveal their priorities in CNN town halls
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 5, 2019 7:00 AM CDT
Bernie Sanders speaks during a campaign stop at the Circle 9 Ranch Campground Bingo Hall in Epsom, NH, on Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Mary Schwalm)
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(Newser) – Top Democratic presidential contenders talked tough Wednesday on cutting climate-damaging emissions from oil, gas, and coal, turning their focus to global warming in a marathon evening of town halls. While Republicans might find ammunition in the overwhelming—and overwhelmingly costly—scope of the plans, the 10 Democrats who participated in the seven-hour series of climate change forums on CNN didn't shy away from making sweeping promises to reshape the American economy in service of averting global warming's most devastating effects, reports the AP. "We have a moral responsibility to act and act boldly. And to do that, yes, it is going to be expensive," said Bernie Sanders, who billed his $16 trillion climate change plan as a necessary response to scientists' calls for dramatic cuts to carbon emissions.

Joe Biden defended his own climate proposal as "aggressive enough" while pledging to regulate but not abolish hydraulic fracturing—siding with Julián Castro, Cory Booker, and Amy Klobuchar. Kamala Harris vowed to ban fracking as president and to eliminate the Senate filibuster, if necessary, to get liberal Democrats' sweeping Green New Deal proposal passed with a simple majority vote—a significant move from a candidate who had previously stopped short of a pledge to change congressional procedure. All 10 candidates—including Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, Beto O'Rourke, and Andrew Yang—have proposed plans starting at $1 trillion for investment and research designed to wean the US economy off oil, gas, and coal by mid-century, with varying focuses on sharp emissions cuts and technological solutions, among other measures. See key lines from each candidate at CNN. President Trump's response is here.

(Read more climate change stories.)

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