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The Democratic Party’s Climate and Energy Policies Will Be Toxic in November

The Democratic Party’s Climate and Energy Policies Will Be Toxic in November

Daniel Turner: Democratic embrace of Sanders’ energy and environment policies could bring defeat in election

The Democratic Party, on Tuesday night, appeared to rally behind presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ efforts to curb emissions of greenhouse gases, which scientists say are a dangerous, deadly and costly threat to our planet.

But there’s a good chance that Sanders’ policies will prove politically toxic in November. The environmental policy embraced by the Vermont senator is far from revolutionary, and even when it comes to his support for an economic growth agenda, the message is hardly radical.

And when it comes to the potential environmental damage Sanders’ policies pose for the environment in the years ahead, there’s a good chance his policies aren’t as far-reaching and radical as many of them might suggest.

But they are certainly radical in that they propose massive investments in green energy — and the political reality in November is that the Democratic Party will likely support those policies at the same time Sanders is. So his energy and climate policies will not only not “beat back” against the policies of the Republican Party, they will likely increase the chances of victory for Republicans in the election.

When Bernie Sanders speaks at the Netroots Nation conference, Sept. 30, 2015, in Washington, D.C. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

The Democratic Party’s embrace of the policies that Sanders proposed on his climate and environment agenda was first reported by The New York Times.

The party’s leaders didn’t have to embrace Sanders’ policies in order to score points with his voters, but they could have at least delayed them until after the general election.

Sanders’ record

Sanders is a man who has had some of the greatest successes in American politics. The senator was the primary sponsor of a $15 minimum wage bill in Vermont (along with seven other states) and championed a number of progressive measures — from a $15 minimum wage to a “Medicare for All” plan.

He’s also a climate change and environmental leader with decades of experience in the field. He was a strong advocate for the Paris climate accord during President Obama’s first term, and he championed efforts to reduce carbon emissions in Washington, D.C., and around the world. He has also been a strong proponent of nuclear energy as a means to power a safe electric grid.


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