Politics

Progressives Bash Biden On ‘Middle Ground’ Approach To Climate Policy

Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Mike Brest Reporter

Former Vice President Joe Biden is facing backlash from progressive Democrats on Friday after saying he was looking for a “middle ground” approach to climate change.

Reuters reported that the Biden campaign is seeking a “middle ground” that “will appeal to both environmentalists and the blue-collar voters who elected Donald Trump.”

In particular:

The backbone of the policy will likely include the United States rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement and preserving U.S. regulations on emissions and vehicle fuel efficiency that Trump has sought to undo, according to one of the sources, Heather Zichal, who is part of a team advising Biden on climate change.

Democratic presidential candidates Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee both took exception to Biden’s anticipated “middle ground” approach. (RELATED: ‘Middle Ground’? Conservatives Wary Of Biden’s Hiring Of Former Obama Climate Change Advisers)

Inslee pushed back on Twitter, tweeting, “Climate change is an urgent crisis. ‘Middle-ground’ approaches and half measures won’t cut it. We need a large-scale national mobilization to defeat climate change and grow millions of jobs in a clean energy economy.”

Inslee is running on a platform focusing primarily on climate change.

Sen Joe Biden at Center for American Progress Action Fund May 20, 2008 by Center for American Progress Action Fund is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

“There is no ‘middle ground’ when it comes to climate policy,” Sanders tweeted. “If we don’t commit to fully transforming our energy system away from fossil fuels, we will doom future generations. Fighting climate change must be our priority, whether fossil fuel billionaires like it or not.”

Biden pushed back on the criticism on Twitter later in the day, saying, “I’m proud to have been one of the first to introduce climate change legislation. What I fought for in 1986 is more important than ever — climate change is an existential threat. Now. Today.”

New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, one of the leaders of the “Green New Deal,” called Biden’s “middle ground” approach “a dealbreaker.”

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