Klobuchar: 'The Green New Deal Is So Important Right Now for Our Country'

Susan Jones | February 19, 2019 | 5:09am EST
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Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) is joined by her husband John Bessler and daughter Abigail Bessler after announcing her 2020 presidential bid on February 10, 2019 in Minneapolis, Minnesota snowstorm. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) - Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), now running for president, took part in a CNN town hall Monday night where the audience tested her liberal credentials.

"Would climate justice be a priority in a Klobuchar administration?" a college student asked the senator.

"Very good question," Klobuchar responded. Here's her full answer:

I think you all know that this last year was the fourth hottest year in American history. And the Green New Deal is so important right now for our country. We may not have agreements on exactly how it will work and when we can get it done.

And my point that I made there was that this is a discussion we must have as a country. For too long we've just been admiring the problem. We've been saying, oh, it's happening. And most of the members of the Senate did admit that it's happening, but what are you going to do about it?

So I will, the first day as president, sign us back into the international climate change agreement. That is on day one. (The audience applauded.)

I will also, in the first 100 days, bring back the clean power rules that the Obama administration was ready to put in place, and the Trump administration left on the cutting room floor.

I will also bring back the gas mileage standards and then propose sweeping legislation to upgrade our infrastructure. Anyone that watched that video of that dad driving his child through the lapping wildfires in Northern California will know that this isn't just something that's theoretical that's happening in the future. It's happening right now.

And one argument that we need to make for those of us that believe in science, we need to make the argument that this is isn't economics on one side and the environment on the other side, right? Because if you just let climate change keep going, you already see it in homeowners insurance rates. Gone up 50 percent in ten years, right?

Well, that is just going to get worse if we don't start addressing climate change because the market is going to start seeing what's happening here -- it already is, and it's going to get us in economic trouble. So in addition to all the new green jobs it will create, we have to do this for our economy, but we have to do it right, which is why I answered the question that way and make sure that we have a transition.

Klobuchar described climate change as an "urgent cause."

Moderator Don Lemon asked Klobuchar noted that the Green New Deal proposed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and other Democrats called for overhauling the nation's transportation system, retrofitting buildings, and a shift to renewable energy sources by 2030. "Do you believe those goals are achievable?" Lemon asked Klobuchar.

"I think that they are aspirations," Klobuchar replied. "I think we can get close. I don't think we are going to get rid of entire industries in the U.S.," she added.

"What do you mean by aspirations?" Lemon asked Klobuchar.

"Aspirations, to me, means we have been doing nothing about this," Klobuchar said. She described the Green New Deal as "something we need to move towards."

"Do I think we can cross every 't' and dot every "i" in ten years? Actually, I think that would be very difficult to do. But if we don't get started and we don't start with renewable electricity standards, something that I've been a proponent of for a long time, we have tried so many things, and they're just stuck in their tracks. I think this discussion, good or bad, not everyone's going to agree on how we get there is very important to have, and you do that by launching big, by
big ideas," Klobuchar said.

"And the actual legislation you do, we know there's going to be compromises. It's not going to be exactly like that, and we know we're going to have to look out for different areas of the country and how we proceed and be smart about it for the middle class and for people that are more vulnerable. We want to make this work for everyone. But we have to start the debate."

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