Environmental voter guide
We graded the 2020 Democratic candidates on four key environmental areas.
We graded the 2020 Democratic candidates on four key environmental areas.
Vice President Joe Biden
Overall Grade = C+
Wildlife = C-
Public Lands = B
Environmental Justice = B
Climate = C-
As the candidate with the longest political career, Vice President Biden’s environmental track record is a mixed bag. Biden continues to rely heavily on the Obama administration’s accomplishments as justification for his candidacy, but this means he must also take responsibility for the Obama administration’s shortcomings, including the BP Deepwater Horizon catastrophe, the failure to set protective ozone-pollution standards in 2011 to protect human health, and rolling back protections for endangered species across the board. Biden’s climate plan fails to address phasing out leasing of fossil fuels on public lands and fails to set ambitious goals for drastically reducing greenhouse gas pollution by 2030.
Wildlife (Grade: C-) – Senator Biden failed to support the 1993 Amendments to the Endangered Species Act, which would have significantly strengthened the law and put more imperiled species on the path toward recovery.1 As vice president, Biden targeted the recovery program for the desert tortoise, wrongly characterizing it as government waste.2 As part of the Obama administration, he supported an executive order weakening protections for the northern spotted owl and finalized a set of regulations that weakened implementation of the Endangered Species Act, undermining the conservation of all endangered species nationwide. Biden’s website contains no information regarding the protection of endangered species or the extinction crisis, signaling it would not be a priority for his administration.
Public Lands (Grade: B) – As a senator, Biden generally took positions that supported public lands. Unfortunately, he also voted for both the Real ID Act and the Secure Fence Act, which has allowed the Department of Homeland Security to waive virtually all environmental laws in its rush to construct the border wall. While he was Vice President, the Obama Administration established several significant national monuments and marine reserves. However, these gains were undermined by other policy changes, including weakening the regulatory safeguards on all national forests, allowing offshore fossil fuel leasing in Alaska, and failing to curb oil and gas development on public lands. Biden does not address the management of public lands or fixing the damage caused by the southern border wall on his campaign website.
Environmental Justice (Grade: B) – Biden released a general clean energy and environmental justice plan to “stand up to the abuse of power by polluters who disproportionately harm communities of color and low-income communities.” Biden broadly promises to (1) reinstate federal protections rolled back by the Trump administration that were designed to protect communities; (2) engage in community-driven approaches to develop solutions for environmental injustices affecting communities of color, low-income communities and indigenous communities; (3) hold polluters accountable; (4) ensure access to safe drinking water for all communities; and (5) ensure communities harmed by climate change receive preference in competitive grant programs under his plan. However, the plan lacks specificity about executing these goals, including actions directing federal agencies to actively mitigate ongoing public health and other harms linked to fossil fuel extraction and other dirty energy industries. The plan also fails to speak to empowering frontline communities in a clean and democratic energy transition. He was noticeably absent from the first-ever Presidential Forum on Environmental Justice held in November 2019.
Climate (Grade: C-) – As a senator Biden failed to support stricter vehicle-emissions standards in 1990,3 1999,4 20035 and 2005.6 He also voted against legislation in 2002 that would have strengthened renewable energy initiatives.7 During the Obama administration, some progress was made in curbing the extraction of coal from public lands, regulating methane emissions, and establishing the Clean Power Plan. However, these gains were more than offset by the administration’s promotion of oil and gas extraction and its embrace of fracking. Biden does not support the Green New Deal and appears to support only some aspects of a just transition away from fossil fuels. Biden would not declare that the climate crisis is a national emergency. While his climate plan would end new fossil fuel leasing on public lands, it is silent on phasing out production from existing leases. Biden would not ban fracking or end fossil fuel exports. While his plan promises to end fossil fuel subsidies, he stops short of committing to a complete ban on new fossil fuel infrastructure. Biden’s climate policy positions do not track the scientific recommendations of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and only set a “net zero” emission target at 2050, without any interim goals for achieving 100% carbon-free electricity or requiring 100% zero-emission vehicles by 2030.
Mayor Pete Buttigieg
Overall Grade = C-
Wildlife = D
Public Lands = C+
Environmental Justice = B
Climate = C-
As mayor of South Bend, Indiana Pete Buttigieg does not have a significant track record on environmental issues, and accordingly mayor Buttigieg was evaluated almost exclusively based on his public statements and campaign-website platforms. His campaign has not discussed wildlife and public-lands issues in any significant way to date. Buttigieg’s climate plan fails to contain critical interim targets in 2030 to address electricity production or vehicles, and only contains a vague promise of achieving “net-zero” by 2050. Overall Buttigieg’s climate plan is one of the more limited plans in terms of resources that are committed to fight climate change.
Wildlife (Grade: D) – Buttigieg has had little to no experience or track record regarding the protection of wildlife and endangered species. He has not taken a stance publicly on protecting endangered species, curbing the extinction crisis, or helping wildlife more generally.
Public Lands (Grade: C+) – Buttigieg has committed to ending fossil fuel leasing on public lands and ending subsidies for fossil fuel companies. Buttigieg states we need to reverse the Trump administration’s rollback on our public lands across the nation and to designate new national parks and monuments.8 He has not taken any additional stances on public-lands issues. Buttigieg acknowledges the disastrous impact of Trump’s border wall on wildlife as well as communities in the region and will immediately stop construction of the wall.
Environmental Justice (Grade: B) – Buttigieg’s Douglass Plan and his Latino, infrastructure, and health equity plans would make important investments in environmental justice. He would establish an Offices of Health Equity and Justice within each relevant federal agency that support programs related to the social determinants of health, including environmental determinants. Buttigieg would invest over $70 billion in ensuring that all communities have access to clean and affordable water. In addition, he will establish a new $100 billion Lead-Safe Communities fund to keep homes and water safe from lead. He would increase funding and staff at the EPA Office of Compliance and Enforcement, strengthen the Mercury Air Toxics Standards, and promote new initiatives to revitalize majority-minority neighborhoods that have been torn apart by highway projects. He provides some details on how he would ensure a just transition for fossil fuel workers, but fails to specify actual plans to address the ongoing environmental justice impacts of dirty energy extraction in frontline communities or to promote energy democracy. Buttigeig would commit to meeting U.S. trust and treaty obligations to provide safe drinking water and repair Bureau of Indian Education Schools. In addition, he would establish Regional Resilience Hubs and Cooperative Extensions for Climate and Flood Resilience, to provide expertise to local communities and partner with tribes on increasing climate resilience. Unfortunately, he was absent from the first ever Presidential Forum on Environmental Justice held in November 2019.
Climate (Grade: C-) – As mayor, Buttigieg converted the city’s vehicle fleet to hybrid, electric, or natural gas vehicles and installed solar-powered panels and lampposts across the city. Buttigieg would ensure that corporations answer to the people and face penalties when they pollute. Buttigieg supports setting a price on carbon to make corporations pay for emitting CO2 and rebate revenue back to low-income and middle-income families. Buttigieg would declare that the climate crisis represents a national emergency. While he would end new federal fossil fuel leasing on public lands and waters, he would not phase out existing production, nor would he ban fracking or end the export of fossil fuels. Buttigieg supports some aspects of the Green New Deal and sets a target date of 2050 for the country to reach “net-zero” emissions.10 However, he would not set interim goals for achieving 100% carbon-free electricity or requiring 100% zero-emission vehicles by 2030. Buttigieg’s climate plan includes the creation of a national service program, of which a third of the projects would be dedicated to climate resiliency.11 Buttigieg’s plan dedicates $200 billion over 10 years to developing clean energy technology and $200 billion for career training and transition services for those displaced by phasing out fossil fuels.
Senator Amy Klobuchar
Overall Grade = D
Wildlife = F
Public Lands = D
Environmental Justice = D
Climate = D+
If elected president Senator Amy Klobuchar would be an unmitigated disaster for the environment. Since becoming a senator in 2007, Klobuchar has consistently taken positions that harm the environment. She has repeatedly introduced legislation that would prematurely remove protections for endangered gray wolves and supports mines that threaten waterways in her own home state. Klobuchar’s climate plan is the weakest of any major candidate running for president and mainly consists of developing market incentives and voluntary measures to achieve “net-zero” emissions by 2050, without a single interim benchmark as scientists recommend.
Wildlife (Grade: F) – As a senator Klobuchar has repeatedly undermined the scientific integrity of the Endangered Species Act by sponsoring legislation that would remove protections for endangered gray wolf populations in the western Great Lakes region.12 She also cosponsored legislation to exempt lead ammunition and sport fishing equipment from regulation despite the fact that lead is known to poison wildlife and people.13 Klobuchar’s website contains no information regarding the protection of endangered species or the extinction crisis.
Public Lands (Grade: D) – Senator Klobuchar has supported the continuation of mining for fossil fuels on public lands. She has openly supported controversial projects like Twin Metals and PolyMet mines, which would wipe out 1,000 acres of wetlands and threaten Minnesota waterways. She supported legislation that would have short-circuited judicial review of the PolyMet mine, which would also have undermined the public’s right to hold the government accountable. Senator Klobuchar voted in 2017 to allocate $25 billion to fund the border wall as a part of a deal to protect the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, but has since stated that she opposes the administration’s border wall.14
Environmental Justice (Grade: D) – Klobuchar’s climate plan briefly notes that she would assist communities that are most directly experiencing the impacts of climate change through strong new environmental justice programs. But she fails to provide any detail on her specific policy proposals. Senator Klobuchar failed to cosponsor the Environmental Justice Act in 2007, 2008, 2017 and 2019.15 Further, she has repeatedly proposed legislation that would limit or short-circuit judicial review and access to the courts, which systemically undermines environmental justice. She was also absent from the first ever Presidential Forum on Environmental Justice held in November 2019, indicating that she would not make environmental justice issues a priority during her administration.
Climate (Grade: D+) – Klobuchar would not declare that the climate crisis is a national emergency and does not support the Green New Deal, stating that she views it as “aspirational” only.16 She would end new federal fossil fuel leasing on public lands and waters, but she would not phase out existing production of fossil fuels, nor would she ban fracking or end the export of fossil fuels. Klobuchar would not set a 100% carbon-free electricity goal by 2030 or a transition to zero-emission vehicles by 2030. Instead she has committed only to introducing legislation within the first 100 days with the goal of achieving “net-zero” emissions by 2050. She has promised to restore the clean power rules and gas mileage standards put into place by President Obama, but these modest measures are too limited and would not solve the climate crisis.17 Klobuchar’s plan is almost entirely incentive-driven, which would not be sufficient to make the emissions reductions necessary to effectively combat climate change. She continues to support dubious, unproven “clean coal” technologies.18
Senator Bernie Sanders
Overall Grade = A
Wildlife = B+
Public Lands = A-
Environmental Justice = A
Climate = A+
Senator Sanders has demonstrated a strong environmental record throughout his career, including having proposed the strongest plan to address climate change and being an original cosponsor of the Green New Deal. He has also voted in Congress, over the years, to protect wildlife and public lands, and has consistently opposed legislation that exempted the border wall from complying with U.S. environmental laws.
Wildlife (Grade: B+) – As a congressman Sanders was an original cosponsor of the 1993 Amendments to the Endangered Species Act, which would have significantly strengthened the law.19 Sanders has been a strong supporter of protecting wildlife over the years, and has cosponsored legislation that would overturn the Trump administration’s rollback of endangered species protections. However, his campaign platform does not contain any significant information or plans to address endangered species or the extinction crisis.
Public Lands (Grade: A-) – Sanders has proposed resurrecting the Civilian Conservation Corps by investing $171 billion for build green infrastructure, restoring wetlands and corals, mitigating flooding and soil erosion, and planting trees. He proposes $900 million to fully and permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund to protect lands. He would also end the National Park System’s maintenance backlog by addressing the $25 billion in repairs and maintenance that the park system urgently needs.20 With many candidates opposed to Trump’s border wall, Sanders is the only candidate that voted no on the REAL ID Act of 2005 and the Secure Fence Act of 2006.21
Environmental Justice (Grade: A) – Sanders’ robust environmental justice platform falls under the umbrella of the Green New Deal.22 Sanders commits to environmental justice principles, stating that “the goals and outcomes of the Green New Deal should continue to be developed under the Jemez Principles for Democratic Organizing with strong and consistent consultation with the communities most affected by the currently unequal enforcement of environmental laws.” Grants awarded as part of the plan would prioritize communities, including Indigenous communities, most impacted by fossil fuel extraction, transportation, and climate change and encourage energy democracy. As president Sanders would direct the EPA to fully investigate environmental justice violations claims and fully remediate all superfund sites. In 2019 he introduced the WATER Act as part of the Green New Deal, a bill that would dedicate nearly $35 billion for various water systems for rural or low-income communities with the goal of preventing water contamination disasters that have occurred in towns like Flint, Michigan, and are a growing threat in places like rural Iowa. Prior to Sanders’s 2020 presidential run, he vehemently opposed the Dakota Access Pipeline and asked President Obama to stop construction.23
Climate (Grade: A+) – Senator Sanders uses the “Green New Deal” as the gold standard for addressing climate change.24 Sanders would declare that the climate crisis is a national emergency and would use the full powers of the office of the president to confront the climate crisis. Sanders’s plan calls for reaching 100% carbon-free electricity — that is publicly owned and not-for-profit — and 100% emissions-free vehicles on or before 2030. Sanders has set the proper goal of complete decarbonization on or before 2050. His plan also includes energy efficiency and supporting sustainable local agriculture, while not relying on nuclear, geoengineering, carbon capture or sequestration, or trash incinerators. It also calls for creating a $40 billion Climate Justice Resiliency Fund to provide frontline communities with jobs, resilient infrastructure, and economic development. Sanders would end all federal fossil fuel leasing on public lands and waters and phase out all existing production of fossil fuels. Sanders would prosecute polluters that are responsible for causing the climate crisis and ensure a just transition to a decarbonized economy. At the international level, Sanders pledge $200 billion to the Green Climate Fund and rejoin the Paris Agreement. Sanders’s climate plan would be funded in part through taxing the fossil fuel industry and wealthy and larger corporations.
Overall Grade = B
Wildlife = C+
Public Lands = C+
Environmental Justice = A-
Climate = A-
Tom Steyer is now dedicating his personal wealth toward environmental and progressive causes. However, prior to becoming a philanthropist, Steyer ran a hedge fund that invested in environmentally destructive businesses for decades, including coal mining.25 Steyer has introduced a “climate justice” plan, including a broad promise of clean air and clean water for all Americans, as well as vague goals relating to protection of public lands and wildlife.
Wildlife (Grade: C+) – Steyer’s climate plan includes broad goals of protecting 30% of the Earth’s land as biodiversity and ecological reserves by 2030, and a goal of protecting half of the Earth’s land area by 2050.26 His international climate plan also includes protections for the Amazon rainforest and the Arctic. The plan calls for designating additional marine protected areas and expanding marine national monuments to serve as biodiversity reserves and blue carbon sinks. Beyond that his plan is entirely silent on any discussion of protecting endangered species, addressing the extinction crisis, or conserving wildlife in North America. Nor does his plan include details on how any of its goals would be implemented.
Public Lands (Grade: C+) – Steyer’s climate plan includes broad goals of protecting 30% of the Earth’s land as biodiversity and ecological reserves by 2030, and a goal of protecting half of the Earth’s land area by 2050. The plan also calls for designating additional marine protected areas and expanding marine national monuments to serve as biodiversity reserves and blue carbon sinks. Beyond that his website is silent on plans to restore public lands or address the Trump administration’s activities that have dismantled public-lands protections on existing national monuments. Steyer does not have specific plans regarding the impacts of Trump’s border wall on the environment and borderlands communities, but he does not support expanding the border wall any farther.27
Environmental Justice (Grade: A-) – Steyer has stated that he wants environmental justice to be a central plank of his larger plan to address the climate crisis.28 He would establish a new division in the Department of Justice to address environmental racism, ensuring equal protection against environmental harms and prosecuting environmental civil-rights violations. He would also support tribal and indigenous leadership by pledging to respect treaty rights and tribal sovereignty for Indigenous people, and to ensure the benefits, incentives, and rights to self-determination. Steyer would recommit the United States to international efforts at the United Nations relating to indigenous peoples.
Climate (Grade: A-) – Steyer would declare that the climate crisis is a national emergency and has put forward a $2.3 trillion plan to address the climate crisis.29 His climate plan would require the United States to reach “net-zero” emissions by 2045, and contains interim goals of achieving an 100% electric emissions-free vehicle fleet by 2030. However, his plan does not require 100% carbon-free electricity generation by 2030. Steyer’s plan would call for an end to new leasing on public lands and waters, and would “responsibly wind down existing fossil fuel production nationwide.” He would also ban fracking and end the export of fossil fuels.
Senator Elizabeth Warren
Overall Grade = A-
Wildlife = B
Public Lands = A-
Environmental Justice = A
Climate = A-
As a senator since 2012, Elizabeth Warren has a strong record supporting wildlife, public lands and the environment. Warren was one of the first presidential candidates to sign the No Fossil Fuel pledge, and her climate plan recognizes the urgency of the climate crisis by dedicating trillions of dollars to achieve net-zero emissions by the scientist-recommended date of 2030. She also has comprehensive plans for how her administration would manage public lands and address environmental justice issues.
Wildlife (Grade: B) – As a senator Elizabeth Warren has consistently voted to protect wildlife and endangered species. She has cosponsored legislation that would overturn the Trump administration’s rollback of endangered species regulatory safeguards. However, she has not yet made many specific statements about protecting endangered species or addressing the extinction crisis in her presidential campaign.
Public Lands (Grade A-) – Warren’s public-lands plan calls for a total moratorium on all new fossil fuel leases and sets a goal of providing 10% of the nation’s overall electricity generation from renewable sources offshore or on public lands.30 She would restore protections to Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments. She was one of the first candidates to come out in favor of protecting the Nevada Desert National Wildlife Refuge against a takeover by the Defense Department. And she was also the first candidate to oppose the Twin Metals mining project outside Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Warren has committed to revoking improperly issued permits for the Keystone XL, Dakota Access and Line 3 pipelines.31 Senator Warren voted in 2017 to allocate $25 billion to fund the border wall as a part of a deal to protect the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program32 but has since stated “I do not support building a wall.”33
Environmental Justice (Grade: A) – Warren released a robust environmental justice plan that calls for spending at least $1 trillion in the next 10 years to defend low-income and minority communities against pollution, contamination and extreme weather events that are exacerbated by climate change.34 The plan would strengthen existing environmental laws by mandating that all federal agencies consider climate impacts in developing rules, and would restore the Obama-era water rule the Trump administration recently rolled back. Warren also proposes that projects should not proceed unless developers have obtained the free, prior and informed consent of the tribal governments concerned. Her plan also instructs the EPA and the Department of Justice to enhance enforcement against industrial polluters and calls for improving equity mapping of marginalized communities to better identify climate risk damage from increasingly intense storms, droughts and wildfires. Finally, the plan empowers local communities with financing opportunities to build out community solar and bottom-up power to enhance energy democracy.
Climate (Grade: A-) – Warren would declare that the climate crisis is a national emergency and supports a just transition to a 100% clean and renewable energy economy. She would end all new federal fossil fuel leasing on public lands and waters, but she has not committed to phase out all existing fossil fuel production on both private and public lands. Warren would ban fracking and end the export of fossil fuels. Warren’s climate plan would require achieving 100% carbon-free electricity and 100% emissions-free vehicles on or before 2030. Warren would dedicate $3 trillion to green manufacturing and research and $1.5 trillion to subsidizing the transition to renewable energy and zero emission vehicles. She has also proposed a “Blue New Deal” to address the impacts of climate change on the oceans. As a senator Warren introduced the Climate Risk Disclosure Act, which would require public companies to disclose information about potential risks the company could face because of climate change, such as the company’s greenhouse gas emissions.35 Warren was also an original cosponsor of the Green New Deal.
Overall Grade = C
Wildlife = C-
Public Lands = C+
Environmental Justice = C
Climate = C-
Andrew Yang has a large set of policy proposals on his campaign website that address a wide range of environmental issues.36 However, as a self-described entrepreneur with no experience in government, some of his policy proposals would likely be disastrous for the environment. For example, Yang has called for the “automatic” sunset of old laws unless they meet arbitrary “Key Performance Indicators.”37 This type of proposal could be a disaster for almost every U.S. environmental law — some of which are more than 100 years old but still extremely important. He also embraces extremely risky and potential ecological catastrophes such as geoengineering to address climate change.
Wildlife (Grade: C-) – Yang notes on his website the ecological impacts to wildlife from the construction of the border wall. Beyond that, Yang has not taken a position on addressing the global extinction crisis, the protection of endangered species in the United States, or other efforts to repair damage caused by the Trump administration to wildlife.
Public Lands (Grade: C+) – Yang proposes to end fossil fuel leasing on public lands and end subsidies for fossil fuel companies. He proposes to restore protections for national monuments that were stripped away by the Trump administration. He also opposes giving federal lands over to the states and promises to appoint a Secretary of the Interior who will not give public lands to private entities.38 Yang also has a progressive view on how to manage the threat of wildfire, including allowing natural burns to occur.39 Yang has stated that he is not likely to tear down any of Trump’s border wall, but would also oppose any additional wall on the southern border.40
Environmental Justice (Grade: C) – Yang supports the Green New Deal, which would broadly recognize environmental injustices and the need to counteract it. However, he entirely fails to address the impacts of dirty energy extraction and has not proposed much else to address historic and systemic environmental injustice besides touting his $1,000-a-month universal basic income proposal. Moreover, his support for the false “solution” of geoengineering is a bright red flag for many indigenous and environmental justice communities, whose historical harms of pollution and contamination of waters and desecration of lands due to fossil fuel infrastructure buildout will not be addressed. He was absent from the first Presidential Forum on Environmental Justice held in November 2019, indicating that he would not make environmental justice issues a priority during his administration.
Climate (Grade: C-) – Yang would not declare that the climate crisis represents a national emergency. He would end all new federal fossil fuel leasing on public lands and waters, but would not phase out all existing fossil fuel production. Yang would not ban fracking nationwide and would not end the export of fossil fuels. Unfortunately he has endorsed the carbon tax and dividend plan that would roll back the regulatory and legal requirements under the Clean Air Act, the most powerful mechanism to address air pollution and climate change.41 Yang does require 100% emission free vehicles by 2035, but does not require that all electricity generation be carbon free by 2030. Yang supports the expansion of nuclear power, which is a false “solution” to the climate crisis and causes significant environmental harm in the mining of uranium.42 Most alarmingly, he would support risky and dubious geoengineering technologies — such as seeding the ocean to encourage algae blooms and blocking solar radiation from space — to sequester carbon.43
The Center for Biological Diversity Action Fund evaluated each candidate on four key environmental issue areas: saving wildlife, protecting public lands, ensuring environmental justice and, ending the climate crisis.
We evaluated every candidate polling above 1% in the latest national polls. We did not evaluate former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg because of his decision not to participate in any Democratic debate, build a grassroots network of supporters, or compete in any of the early state caucuses or primaries.
If a candidate has held previous political office, the votes and legislative initiatives of that candidate were assessed. For candidates who have not held a previous office, the campaign policy platforms were reviewed, as were statements made by the candidate in various speeches and debates. A questionnaire was sent to all the candidates as well and when the questionnaire was returned, the answers provided were also considered.
The four areas were weighted equally in determining an overall environmental grade. Below is a list of key questions we evaluated for each candidate:
1) Has the candidate developed a specific, results-bound plan to protect endangered species, address the global extinction crisis and improve the conservation of wildlife in North America?
2) How has the candidate voted in the past on wildlife issues? What notable legislation has the candidate introduced/co-sponsored on wildlife issues? What notable executive actions has the candidate taken relating to wildlife?
1) Has the candidate developed a plan to protect, restore and expand our public lands as well as offshore waters, especially in light of the Trump administration’s attempts to dismantle public lands protections including the unprecedented rollback of national monuments?
2) Has the candidate developed a plan to strengthen protections for public lands to help restore wildlife and climate protections as the main function of public lands?
3) How has the candidate voted in the past on public lands issues? What notable legislation has the candidate introduced/co-sponsored on public lands issues? What notable executive actions has the candidate taken relating to public lands?
4) Has the candidate developed a plan to address impacts of the Trump border wall on public lands along the southern border?
1) Has the candidate developed a plan to address environmental justice issues? Has the candidate introduced a plan to address pollution and impacts to disproportionately affected communities and communities of color?
2) Has the candidate introduced a plan to address Native American communities impacted by a legacy of pollution, colonization and disenfranchisement?
3) How has the candidate voted in the past on environmental justice and pollution issues? What notable legislation has the candidate introduced/co-sponsored to address environmental justice? What notable executive actions has the candidate taken relating to environmental justice?
1) Has the candidate promised to declare that the climate crisis is a national emergency?
2) Does the candidate require 100% carbon-free electricity production by 2030? Does the candidate require a 100% zero-emission vehicle fleet by 2030?
3) Does the candidate have a concrete plan for eliminating fossil fuels economy-wide, or do they rely on vague goals such as “net zero” which are subject to accounting gimmicks and manipulation?
4) Has the candidate developed a plan to end all new federal fossil fuel leasing on public lands and waters? Has the candidate developed a plan for ending existing federal fossil fuel production?
5) Has the candidate promised to ban fracking? Has the candidate promised to end fossil fuel exports? Has the candidate developed a plan to end the construction of fossil fuel infrastructure?
6) Does the candidate plan to prosecute polluters for their responsibility in causing the climate crisis?
7) How has the candidate voted in the past on climate issues? What notable legislation has the candidate introduced/co-sponsored to address climate change? What notable executive actions has the candidate taken relating to climate change?
1 S. 921 (1993).
2 Suzanne Goldenberg, Why the White House has put the desert tortoise on its enemies list, The Guardian (June 2011) available at: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/blog/2011/jun/14/white-house-desert-tortoise-enemies.
3 1990 Senate Roll Call Vote 34, Vote 35
4 1999 Senate Roll Call Vote 275
5 2003 Senate Roll Call Vote 309
6 2005 Senate Roll Call Vote 157
7 2002 Senate Roll Call Vote 50
12 https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/164/; https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/1514/text?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22%5C%22gray+wolf%5C%22%22%5D%7D&r=12&s=8
15 https://www.congress.gov/bill/110th-congress/house-bill/1103/cosponsors; https://www.congress.gov/bill/110th-congress/senate-bill/642/cosponsors; https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/1996/cosponsors; https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/senate-bill/2236/cosponsors
18 Where 2020 Democrats stand on climate change, The Washington Post, available at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/politics/policy-2020/climate-change/?utm_term=.609e4a1a6612
19 H.R. 2043 (1993). https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/103/hr2043/details
20 The Green New Deal, Bernie 2020 https://berniesanders.com/issues/the-green-new-deal/
21 H.R. 1268 – Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Tsunami Relief, 2005, https://www.congress.gov/bill/109th-congress/house-bill/1268; H.R. 6061 – Secure Fence Act of 2006, https://www.congress.gov/bill/109th-congress/house-bill/6061
22 The Green New Deal, Bernie 2020, https://berniesanders.com/issues/green-new-deal/
23Alexander Sammon, Bernie Sanders Just Asked President Obama to Halt the Dakota Access Pipeline, Mother Jones (Oct. 13, 2016) https://www.motherjones.com/environment/2016/10/bernie-sanders-dakota-access-pipeline/
24The Green New Deal, Bernie 2020 https://berniesanders.com/issues/the-green-new-deal/
40 ”Where Democrats stand,” Washington Post, https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/politics/policy-2020/immigration/us-mexico-border-wall/.