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Elizabeth Warren Adopts $3 Trillion Climate Crisis Plan, Challenges All 2020 Candidates to Do Same

Politics
U.S. presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren speaks at a house party in Hampton Falls, New Hampshire on Sep. 2. Nic Antaya / The Boston Globe / Getty Images

Sen. Elizabeth Warren announced that she would adopt Gov. Jay Inslee's climate crisis plan and add in an $1 trillion in investments to help protect workers and to fund a dramatic shift in infrastructure away from fossil fuels if she is elected president, as CNN reported.


Warren said her plan includes a "federal investment of $3 trillion" and "will leverage additional trillions in private investment and create millions of jobs," as reported by Fox Business.

"One of the most important of these ideas is the urgent need to decarbonize key sectors of our economy," Warren wrote on Medium yesterday. "Today, I'm embracing that goal by committing to adopt and build on Inslee's ten-year action plan to achieve 100% clean energy for America by decarbonizing our electricity, our vehicles, and our buildings. And I'm challenging every other candidate for President to do the same."

Earlier this summer, Warren announced she would invest $2 trillion in her Green Manufacturing plan. That plan, which she also posted to Medium, seeks to pivot the American energy and manufacturing sector toward the $23 trillion market for renewable energy.

Last week, Warren met with Inslee, who campaigned for president on the climate crisis issue but recently suspended his campaign after failing to gain traction in polls, as the New York Times reported.

"Jay didn't merely sound the alarm or make vague promises. He provided bold, thoughtful and detailed ideas for how to get us where we need to go, both by raising standards to address pollution and investing in the future of the American economy," Warren wrote on Medium yesterday. "While his presidential campaign may be over, his ideas should remain at the center of the agenda."

Her new plan was released a day before CNN hosts 10 of the Democratic candidates, including Warren, in a town hall dedicated to the climate crisis.

In her latest proposal, which builds on her Green Manufacturing plan, the Massachusetts senator incorporates Inslee's plan to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, vehicles and buildings over 10 years. She argues that the spending would easily be paid for by cancelling the Trump tax breaks for wealthy individuals and corporations, according to the New York Times.

Warren's plan, like Inslee's, would look to close down coal-fired electricity plants within a decade, but also funds health care and pensions for coal miners. Her plan and Inslee's share a new federal regulation on cars with the aim of zero-emissions for most cars, pickup trucks and busses by 2030, as the New York Times reported.

While Inslee's candidacy is over, his influence is clear as candidates scramble to release plans to address the climate crisis ahead of the climate change town hall, which Inslee lobbied for. In her maneuver to adopt Inslee's plan, she has won over some close to the Washington governor.

"Gov. Inslee has made his Climate Mission plan an open source document, and he's pleased to see Sen. Warren taking up major elements of his plan," said Jamal Raad, a spokesman for Inslee, as CNN reported. "He is particularly impressed that Senator Warren is adopting his aggressive targets to reach 100% clean energy in electricity, cars and buildings, ending coal power, and making a commitment to investing in good, union jobs and a just transition for front-line communities."

In addition to Warren, several candidates are releasing their climate crisis plan. California Sen. Kamala Harris unveiled her $10 trillion plans on Wednesday. New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker and former Obama cabinet member Julián Castro presented theirs on Tuesday. Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar released hers over the weekend. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders released his plan last week, which is the boldest and most expensive of all at $16.5 trillion. Entrepreneur Andrew Yang also released his $4 trillion plan last week. While South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg unveiled a $1.1 trillion plan earlier today.


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A volcano erupts on New Zealand's Whakaari/White Island on Dec. 9, 2019. Michael Schade / Twitter

A powerful volcano on Monday rocked an uninhabited island frequented by tourists about 30 miles off New Zealand's coast. Authorities have confirmed that five people died. They expect that number to rise as some are missing and police officials issued a statement that flights around the islands revealed "no signs of life had been seen at any point,", as The Guardian reported.

"Based on the information we have, we do not believe there are any survivors on the island," the police said in their official statement. "Police is working urgently to confirm the exact number of those who have died, further to the five confirmed deceased already."

The eruption happened on New Zealand's Whakaari/White Island, an islet jutting out of the Bay of Plenty, off the country's North Island. The island is privately owned and is typically visited for day-trips by thousands of tourists every year, according to The New York Times.

Michael Schade / Twitter

At the time of the eruption on Monday, about 50 passengers from the Ovation of Seas were on the island, including more than 30 who were part of a Royal Caribbean cruise trip, according to CNN. Twenty-three people, including the five dead, were evacuated from the island.

The eruption occurred at 2:11 pm local time on Monday, as footage from a crater camera owned and operated by GeoNet, New Zealand's geological hazards agency, shows. The camera also shows dozens of people walking near the rim as white smoke billows just before the eruption, according to Reuters.

Police were unable to reach the island because searing white ash posed imminent danger to rescue workers, said John Tims, New Zealand's deputy police commissioner, as he stood next to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in a press conference, as The New York Times reported. Tims said rescue workers would assess the safety of approaching the island on Tuesday morning. "We know the urgency to go back to the island," he told reporters.

"The physical environment is unsafe for us to return to the island," Tims added, as CNN reported. "It's important that we consider the health and safety of rescuers, so we're taking advice from experts going forward."

Authorities have had no communication with anyone on the island. They are frantically working to identify how many people remain and who they are, according to CNN.

Geologists said the eruption is not unexpected and some questioned why the island is open to tourism.

"The volcano has been restless for a few weeks, resulting in the raising of the alert level, so that this eruption is not really a surprise," said Bill McGuire, emeritus professor of geophysical and climate hazards at University College London, as The Guardian reported.

"White Island has been a disaster waiting to happen for many years," said Raymond Cas, emeritus professor at Monash University's school of earth, atmosphere and environment, as The Guardian reported. "Having visited it twice, I have always felt that it was too dangerous to allow the daily tour groups that visit the uninhabited island volcano by boat and helicopter."

The prime minister arrived Monday night in Whakatane, the town closest to the eruption, where day boats visiting the island are docked. Whakatane has a large Maori population.

Ardern met with local council leaders on Monday. She is scheduled to meet with search and rescue teams and will speak to the media at 7 a.m. local time (1 p.m. EST), after drones survey the island, as CNN reported.