Beto O’Rourke rolled out his first big policy plan Monday. The subject was climate change. Unfortunately for Beto, the policy he called “the most ambitious climate plan in the history of the United States” was a flop with some far left climate change extremists so by Wednesday he flipped. The Sunrise Movement kids didn’t like his policy because it wasn’t extreme enough for them.
Under the plan — which would includes $1.5 trillion investment intended to “mobilize” an additional $5 trillion over 10 years — O’Rourke says the United States can achieve net zero emissions by 2050. It includes broad promises to rejoin the Paris agreement, cut pollution, and protect communities impacted by fires, floods, droughts and hurricanes.
“We have one last chance to unleash the ingenuity and political will of hundreds of millions of Americans to meet this moment before it’s too late,” O’Rourke said Monday.
Sunrise Movement is powered by school-age kids and college students who show up to protest and lobby politicians to produce an environmental policy that suits their desires. They are very supportive of the Green New Deal with little concern for its costs.
A group of Sunrise Movement members at William and Mary College in Virginia apparently got to O’Rourke during a recent visit. He specifically gave them a shout-out in his video announcing his decision to sign the No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge. That was quite a bold move from a candidate from Texas.
I have signed the No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge. Here's why: pic.twitter.com/VtuJQeMMgT
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) May 1, 2019
Beto was fine with oil and gas money, you see, until now. He said in the video that he will return all fossil fuel money, over $200.00, and not accept any more going forward. Democrats have criticized O’Rourke for accepting oil and gas company donations in past campaigns.
Behind the scenes, Democrats have also grumbled about O’Rourke’s progressive values, saying it remains to be seen if the former congressman is as progressive as he’d like to portray himself. They highlight O’Rourke’s family wealth and the financial contribution his previous campaigns received from the oil and gas industry.
While he’s signaled support for the Green New Deal, for example, Democrats say that O’Rourke needs to fill in the blanks on where he stands on other issues.
Beto’s policy roll-out caught the attention of Sunrise Movement director Varshini Prakash. While noting some good ideas in his plan, she criticized the timeline he put forth. She created a thread on Twitter of her concerns. Beto originally told college students in Iowa in April that he set 2030 as the goal for net-zero domestic emissions but his plan ended up setting the goal as 2050. She created some controversy over her reaction, though so she posted a tweet about it explaining her reaction.
Our statement on the controversy around @BetoORourke's climate plan:
— Sunrise Movement 🌅 (@sunrisemvmt) May 1, 2019
That tweet was posted at 12:46 P.M. Wednesday afternoon. By 8:44 P.M. she welcomed Beto’s participation by taking the pledge. There’s a tweet for everything these days.
— Sunrise Movement 🌅 (@sunrisemvmt) May 2, 2019
Climate change is a top issue for Democrat voters. Some of the 2020 Democrat presidential candidates have signed on to the pledge, including Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar and Kirsten Gillibrand. It will be interesting to watch and see if Joe Biden takes the pledge now that he’s officially in the race.
Thursday the House will vote on legislation that stops President Trump from pulling out of the Paris climate agreement. Wednesday was a day of debating the costs of the agreement. Many Republicans have no problem acknowledging that climate change is real, though Democrats paint all Republicans as climate change deniers. The truth is that most Republicans acknowledge that there is a natural cycle of climate change produced by Mother Nature. Some of the change may be caused by emissions in the atmosphere but America leads the way in reducing emissions. Our goals have been met and have even exceeded original predictions. There is little chance that the Senate will pass the House’s bill. And, surely President Trump would veto it.
Republicans are not willing to paint American prosperity driven by fossil fuels as the boogeyman. Fossil fuels have raised millions of people around the world out of poverty and into better lives, for example, with the creation of electricity in desperately poor areas. Big Oil is an easy target for politicians and it’s telling that only now O’Rourke is willing to stop taking campaign contributions from this sector. Oil and gas companies are at the forefront of developing and utilizing new technology that is more environmentally friendly. A Texan like Beto O’Rourke knows all of this but has instead chosen to cave to the whims of young radical environmentalists.