How do the 2020 Democratic candidates plan to act on climate change? How do they compare on climate history? Kids Fight Climate Change analyzed each candidate. How does Michael Bennet compare?
Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado was originally appointed to fill a vacancy, but has since fluctuate between climate and fossil fuel policy. Unlike most Democratic Senators, he voted for the Keystone XL pipeline. He bemoaned the fight over Keystone as "one of those idiotic Washington political games that bounces back and forth and doesn't actually accomplish anything." Yet, he frequently talks about the droughts and wildfires that plague Colorado from climate change.
Even more shocking, Bennet has published an extensive climate platform, where he promises zero emissions by 2050, "in line with the most aggressive targets set by the world's scientists," he said. However, he hasn't embraced the Green New Deal: In an Iowa speech, Bennet said,
"I'm not going to pass judgment one way or another on the Green New Deal. I'm all for anyone expressing themselves about the climate any way they want."
Instead, his platform focuses on choices. He wants to let everyone have the choice of renewable energy from their provider, at a reasonable price, and have the option of electric cars. More aggressively, he wants to set up a Climate Bank to accelerate $10 trillion in private innovation and infrastructure. He also wants to set forth a plan reminiscent of part of the Green New Deal: 10 million new green jobs. He wants to set aside 30% of the nation's land for conservation, including forest and soil carbon capture.
Bennet's climate plan doesn't outline a carbon pricing plan, but he released a carbon pollution transparency plan to recognize the full climate costs of carbon pollution.
While Bennet is against Alaskan wilderness drilling, he is still a supporter of fossil fuels. During his time as senator, he has done little to stop them, with Keystone XL as an example. He has been supportive of fossil fuel development.
Bennet comes from a state that is widely affected by climate change, but doesn't challenge the fossil fuel industry. Bennet's platform covers the basics, but his sidestepping of the Green New Deal and the Keystone XL shy away from the climate action that is needed.