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Georgia Democratic Senate candidate U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) speaks during a Dawgs for Warnock rally at the University of Georgia December 4, 2022 in Athens, Georgia. Sen. Warnock continues to campaign throughout Georgia for the runoff election on December 6 against his Republican challenger Herschel Walker. (Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Senator Raphael Warnock: No Comparison on Climate or Choice in Today's Runoff Election

Senator Raphael Warnock understands the importance of climate action as a top priority position.

Today is the runoff election in Georgia between Senator Raphael Warnock (D) and his opponent, for a one-vote margin in the U.S. Senate between the Democrats who passed historic climate legislation in the Inflation Reduction Act, and the other party, which mostly denies climate change. Senator Warnock's Climate Calculation is 81.25 as compared to his opponent's score of 7.5 out of 100. His support for Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme court decision that legalized abortion sets Warnock apart from his opponent, who not only opposes Roe, but reportedly does so hypocritically while having paid for several abortions himself.

Senator Raphael Warnock is a Vote Climate U.S. PAC Priority Candidate.

Senator Raphael Warnock understands the importance of climate action as a top priority position. On his campaign website, Senator Warnock states "Our state urgently needs leaders who will accept the science, invest in infrastructure, and combat the climate crisis that is already at our door." His opponent, candidate Herschel Walker disagrees with the scientific consensus that climate change is real and human-made, from burning fossil fuels. In a Washington Post article, candidate Walker criticizes the Inflation Reduction Act, legislation that includes a significant amount of funding and plans to combat climate change, by calling the legislation "wasteful spending." He asked, "Don't we have enough trees?"

President Biden's Build Back Better agenda was an opportunity to take action to tackle the climate crisis in a way that addresses racial and economic inequality and creates millions of good jobs. The Build Back Better investments set the U.S. on a path to cutting carbon pollution by at least half by 2030 and 100% carbon-free energy powering our electricity grid, new cars, buses, and buildings by 2035, while delivering at least 40% of benefits to communities of color and low-income communities that have borne the brunt of fossil fuel pollution.

Vote Climate U.S. PAC believes we must eliminate all human-made, greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, to slow climate change and related weather extremes. Only the complete elimination of these greenhouse gas emissions will lead to a slow reduction in the atmosphere over the next century. The cuts in carbon pollution in the Build Back Better put us on the path to realizing these goals, unlike any legislation before it. Senator Warnock voted in favor of this legislation.

According to the League of Conservation's scorecard, "Senator Schumer proposed Senate Amendment 5194 to H.R. 5376, introducing the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, to invest $369 billion in climate, jobs, and justice, marking the single largest investment in climate action in American history. The bill incentivizes clean energy, domestic manufacturing, clean vehicles, innovative technologies, and energy efficiency that will save families hundreds of dollars annually, are tied to strong labor provisions, and include added incentives for investments made in low-income and fossil-fuel impacted communities."

With the 5 votes, including those above, Senator Warnock voted 100% pro-climate on the votes scored by Vote Climate U.S. PAC, while serving in the U.S. Senate. Since his opponent is not a member of the U.S. Senate, he has not taken any climate votes, but it seems clear, given his position, that his votes would not likely be in favor of climate action.

In terms of leadership, Senator Warnock scored a 75 out of 100, on our Vote Climate U.S. PAC, national climate change voter's guide, so he can still make climate change a top priority issue to improve his leadership score, but his opponent who does not even believe climate change is real, so once again there is no comparison. According to a 2021 Grist article, "...Warnock believes that "the Earth is the Lord's," according to his website, which lays out his support for a clean energy transition, environmental justice, and stewardship of the natural world. He is a proponent of rejoining the Paris Agreement, reversing Trump's rollbacks, investing in climate resiliency projects to prepare the Georgia coastline for rising sea levels..." If you don't come to the issue of climate change from a religious point of view, still it leads Warnock to a respectable place.

Alas, Senator Raphael Warnock has no known or an inconsistent position on a U.S. fee on carbon pollution, a fee imposed on fossil fuels intended to dramatically reduce or eliminate the emission of carbon dioxide from those sources. A carbon fee would also aid in the switch from fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy and slow climate change. Warnock needs to support a fee on carbon pollution publicly and unequivocally. As a demonstration of this reality, his opponent also has no known or an inconsistent position on a U.S. fee on carbon.

The bottom line in today's runoff election is that while there is room for improvement for the incumbent Senator Raphael Warnock, especially on climate leadership and a fee on carbon pollution, there is absolutely no comparison between him and his opponent, if you care about climate. Senator Warnock supports reproductive choice, his opponent does not, except, it seems, when his own girlfriends get pregnant. For all these reasons, Senator Raphael Warnock is a Vote Climate U.S. PAC Priority Candidate. If you've not already voted, show up today and if you are in the voting line before the deadline, usually 8:00PM, don't leave until you have cast your vote.

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