For Immediate Release
350 Action on Iowa: Climate Made a Strong Showing
DES MOINES, Iowa - The primary results out of Iowa tonight suggest that climate change will continue to be a top tier issue going forward in the 2016 election, as Democrats compete to see who has the strongest plan to take on the fossil fuel industry and Republicans tie themselves into knots trying to explain their climate denial.
“We’ve seen a much better debate about climate solutions in this election than in 2012,” said Jason Kowalski, a 350 Action Spokesperson. “Democratic candidates are trying to out climate each other with bold policies, while Republicans are tying themselves in knots when pushed on their climate denial. With voting now underway, I’d expect the debate to only intensify. The test for every candidate going forward will be their commitment to keep fossil fuels in the ground. ”
As of 11:30pm ET, the race between Clinton and Sanders was still down to the wire. On Clinton’s showing in Iowa, Kowalski said:
“Clinton has become more progressive on climate change, but she’s still got a ways to go. Iowa is where Clinton came out against the Keystone XL pipeline, maybe New Hampshire can be where she swears off campaign contributions from fossil fuel companies, or endorses a ban on fossil fuel extraction on public lands. If Clinton wants to win over more voters, she’ll have to keep making bold climate action a priority.”
On Sanders’ showing in Iowa, Kowalski added:
“People are ready for bold action to address the challenges facing our country and climate justice is high on the list. Sanders put forward the most aggressive platform on climate change, including a ban on fracking and a halt to new fossil fuel extraction on public lands, and voters responded to that. No matter what happens going forward, this race has already shown that politicians can, and must, go farther to keep fossil fuels in the ground and accelerate the just transition to clean energy.”
Some commentators have said that Sanders’ strong showing in Iowa could, in part, be thanks to a strong showing from voters who care deeply about climate change.
As for the outcome of the Republican race, “Ted Cruz’s climate denial is such a relic of the past he could be a fossil himself,” said Kowalski.
350 Action is the independent political action arm of the non-profit, non-partisan climate justice group 350.org.