Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Jay Inslee, Who Led the Push for a Climate Debate, Drops out of Presidential Race

Politics
Jay Inslee, Who Led the Push for a Climate Debate, Drops out of Presidential Race
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee delivered his 2019 State of the State address on Jan. 15. Governor Jay and First Lady Trudi Inslee / Flickr

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who made solving the climate crisis the center of his presidential campaign, is dropping out of the 2020 Democratic primary race.


Inslee announced his exit Wednesday while speaking on MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show, The Guardian reported.

"It's become clear that I'm not going to be carrying the ball," Inslee said. "I'm not going to be the president, so I'm withdrawing tonight from the race."

Inslee failed to qualify for the third Democratic primary debate in September, as well as for a climate-themed CNN town hall. Inslee had met the donor threshold for the third debate, but not the polling threshold, CNN reported.

Despite failing to qualify for the climate town hall, Inslee was the first candidate to call for a debate focused solely on the issue. He also put forward several ambitious plans to address the climate crisis. The first promised a transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2035. Another plan targeting the fossil fuel industry would have ended subsidies, banned drilling on public lands and made carbon polluters pay. On Wednesday, the day of his resignation, he also dropped a new plan focused on agriculture, including a commitment to invest in climate-friendly farming innovations.

The Sunrise Movement, a grassroots group that has led the push for a Green New Deal, took to Twitter to celebrate his campaign's legacy.

"Jay Inslee entered the race with the goal of putting the climate crisis at the center of the campaign," the group wrote. "He may be leaving the race, but it's clear he and the movements who fought alongside him are succeeding in that mission."

David Roberts, who has covered Inslee's campaign for Vox, praised the detail of his plans, which now amount to more than 200 pages of climate policy:

The result is far more than a campaign document — it's a comprehensive governing blueprint. It takes the lofty aspirations of the Green New Deal and translates them into nuts and bolts, specifying which agencies and programs need to do what. Whichever Democratic candidate may become president, they would do well to keep a copy of Inslee's plan on their desk.

Inslee is not yet ready to say which candidate he hopes will end up in the Oval Office. He said they all needed to bolster their climate plans. But he said Wednesday that "every single one of them is 100% better than the current occupant, no question about that," CNN reported.

In an email to supporters reported by CNN, he outlined what his campaign had accomplished:

"Many of the campaigns started with little attention to climate, but since our campaign began, we've seen almost every serious candidate put out a climate plan; we've seen climate come up in both debates; and we now have two networks hosting nationally-televised climate forums in September," he said. "Most importantly, we have introduced a detailed and comprehensive policy blueprint for bold climate action and transformation to a clean energy economy. We will fight to ensure this gold standard of climate action is adopted and executed by our party and our next president."

With his presidential hopes over, Inslee is likely to announce a run for a third term as Washington's governor Thursday, two people close to him told the Associated Press.

Rise and Resist activist group marched together to demand climate and racial justice. Steve Sanchez / Pacific Press / LightRocket / Getty Images

By Alexandria Villaseñor

This story is part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story.

My journey to becoming an activist began in late 2018. During a trip to California to visit family, the Camp Fire broke out. At the time, it was the most devastating and destructive wildfire in California history. Thousands of acres and structures burned, and many lives were lost. Since then, California's wildfires have accelerated: This past year, we saw the first-ever "gigafire," and by the end of 2020, more than four million acres had burned.

Read More Show Less
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland announced a pair of climate-related secretarial orders on Friday, April 16. U.S. Department of the Interior

By Jessica Corbett

As the Biden administration reviews the U.S. government's federal fossil fuels program and faces pressure to block any new dirty energy development, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland won praise from environmentalists on Friday for issuing a pair of climate-related secretarial orders.

Read More Show Less
Trending
David Attenborough narrates "The Year Earth Changed," premiering globally April 16 on Apple TV+. Apple

Next week marks the second Earth Day of the coronavirus pandemic. While a year of lockdowns and travel restrictions has limited our ability to explore the natural world and gather with others for its defense, it is still possible to experience the wonder and inspiration from the safety of your home.

Read More Show Less

By Michael Svoboda

For April's bookshelf we take a cue from Earth Day and step back to look at the bigger picture. It wasn't climate change that motivated people to attend the teach-ins and protests that marked that first observance in 1970; it was pollution, the destruction of wild lands and habitats, and the consequent deaths of species.

Read More Show Less
An Amazon.com Inc. worker walks past a row of vans outside a distribution facility on Feb. 2, 2021 in Hawthorne, California. PATRICK T. FALLON / AFP via Getty Images

Over the past year, Amazon has significantly expanded its warehouses in Southern California, employing residents in communities that have suffered from high unemployment rates, The Guardian reports. But a new report shows the negative environmental impacts of the boom, highlighting its impact on low-income communities of color across Southern California.

Read More Show Less