Sen. Elizabeth Warren: ‘We Need a Blue New Deal as Well’

By Melanie Arter | September 5, 2019 | 10:30am EDT
(Photo by JOSH EDELSON / AFP/Getty Images)

( – Borrowing a phrase used by an oyster farmer who posed a question during CNN’s Democratic presidential town hall on climate crisis, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) said Wednesday that the country needs a “Blue New Deal” to go with the Green New Deal proposed by Democrats.

CNN’s Chris Cuomo introduced a video question from a shellfish farmer in Connecticut, who used to work as a commercial fisherman.


“My farm was destroyed by two hurricanes. Now warming waters and acidification is killing seed, coast to coast and reducing yields. Those of us that work on the water we need climate solutions, and we need them now. The trouble is, is the Green New Deal only mentions our oceans one time. This is despite the fact that our seas soak up more than 25% of the world’s carbon. So what's your plan for a blue new deal for those of us working on the ocean?” he asked. “How do we make sure we can make a living on a living planet?”

“I like that,” Warren said. “Thank you. I think it's a great question. He's got it exactly right. We need a blue new deal as well. Good for you. I just want to say on this one about the oceans. The rising acidification and the fact that now in Boston, the lobsters move to Maine, because it's too warm in the waters, and the food for them doesn't grow appropriately and so on. I talked to folks who fish commercially off our shores, down by New Bedford, up by Gloucester. You know what they tell me?



“They keep pulling stuff that they don't know even what it is. So what do they do? I talked to one who said I called my brother-in-law who fishes commercially off the coast of Florida, because I send him pictures and he says we used to catch those down here, but now they’ve moved to Boston and to the waters around Massachusetts and New England. So here's what really scares me. This isn't slowing down. It's speeding up,” she said.

“Where are they going next? And what are we going to be left with? We count on the oceans for life, not just for food, but what it means in our entire climate. So, I love it. You want to call it a Blue New Deal? Count me in, but part of getting the carbon out of the air out of the water, out of the soil, is also about the change in what's happening in our oceans - these big dead patches now and the patches of trash, which goes back to a point earlier, and that is we can't just think about cleaning up the United States of America,” the senator added.

“We cannot think about from the East Coast to the West Coast plus Hawaii and Alaska. We can't just think from the Canada border down to the border with Mexico. We have to think about the whole world. And that's why many of my plans intersect with our global opportunities and responsibilities. Like I said, lots of plans,” Warren added.



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