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Meet The ‘Blue-Collar’ Democratic Candidate Beloved By Environmentalists In Wisconsin

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Jason Hopkins Immigration and politics reporter
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Democratic congressional candidate Randy Bryce, who is vying for House Speaker Paul Ryan’s seat in Wisconsin, casts himself as the ultimate blue-collar candidate. However, Bryce has earned support and adulation from environmentalist leaders pushing proposals to strangle energy-related industries.

Bryce has called for major environmental regulations, including the complete elimination of fossil fuel energy production in favor of renewable sources. His platform has earned him the support of major environmental activists such as Bill McKibben and Tom Steyer.

Bryce, an ironworker, launched his campaign against Ryan in 2017 with a viral video that became popular among progressive activists. Constantly photographed wearing a hard hat, professing a love for boxed wine and adopting the Twitter handle @IronStache, his campaign relies heavily on his “everyday man” image. Bryce has even compared his candidacy to that of Rep.-elect Conor Lamb, a pro-fracking moderate Democrat who recently won a Pennsylvania House race in a conservative district.

Bryce’s policies seem to be at odds with his self-proclaimed image.

Bryce would like to make the U.S. run on 100 percent renewable energy by 2050, according to his campaign website. Bryce is calling for the U.S. to rejoin the Paris climate agreement and opposes the construction of any new pipelines in the country. Such proposals would greatly upend his home state of Wisconsin, where the U.S. Energy Information Administration revealed is still a major consumer of fossil fuel and nuclear energy.

“Out-of-state liberals are trying to prop up three-time failed candidate Randy Bryce — proving that he’s nothing more than a far-left activist. Whether it’s a jobs destroying energy proposal or a government-run health care disaster, Bryce’s policies will cost trillions and force hardworking Wisconsinites to foot the bill,” Alec Zimmerman, the Wisconsin GOP communications director, said in a statement to The Daily Caller News Foundation.

Environmentalist activist McKibben took to Twitter in mid-March to announce his support for Bryce’s energy platform, which includes a moratorium on pipeline expansion, prosecuting Exxon executives for “lying” about damage to the environment, and other proposals.

Bryce responded by openly embracing his support.

McKibben is the founder and leader of 350.org, a major anti-carbon group. Over the years he has helped organize thousands of demonstrations against global warming and has written extensively on the subject. McKibben is also known for his support and advocacy of The Solutions Project, a proposal calling for the U.S. to be 100 percent reliant on renewable energy resources by 2050.

An analysis of The Solutions Project by America Rising Advanced Research revealed that the plan would have calamitous effects on the U.S. economy.

According to AR Squared’s investigation, the project would cost a whopping $429 billion a year, or $14.6 trillion over 34 years if implemented in 2017. Assuming the federal government foots the bill, the plan would raise the national debt to around $31 trillion by 2030.

Additionally, the McKibben-backed project would eliminate four million U.S. jobs in fossil and nuclear-related industries — killing high-paying jobs with an average salary of nearly $70,000.

Billionaire environmentalist Steyer, who has pushed for comparable green energy goals, has vowed to spend millions attacking GOP congressmen this election cycle. The liberal mega-donor has taken a strong interest in Bryce’s campaign, spending a portion of his money drop to boost the Wisconsin Democrat’s chances.

Bryce’s campaign did not respond to TheDCNF’s inquiry in time for publication of this report.

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