Former Vice President Joe Biden is facing backlash from progressive Democrats on Friday after saying he was looking for a “middle ground” approach to climate change.
Reuters reported that the Biden campaign is seeking a “middle ground” that “will appeal to both environmentalists and the blue-collar voters who elected Donald Trump.”
The backbone of the policy will likely include the United States rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement and preserving U.S. regulations on emissions and vehicle fuel efficiency that Trump has sought to undo, according to one of the sources, Heather Zichal, who is part of a team advising Biden on climate change.
Democratic presidential candidates Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee both took exception to Biden’s anticipated “middle ground” approach. (RELATED: ‘Middle Ground’? Conservatives Wary Of Biden’s Hiring Of Former Obama Climate Change Advisers)
Inslee pushed back on Twitter, tweeting, “Climate change is an urgent crisis. ‘Middle-ground’ approaches and half measures won’t cut it. We need a large-scale national mobilization to defeat climate change and grow millions of jobs in a clean energy economy.”
Inslee is running on a platform focusing primarily on climate change.
“There is no ‘middle ground’ when it comes to climate policy,” Sanders tweeted. “If we don’t commit to fully transforming our energy system away from fossil fuels, we will doom future generations. Fighting climate change must be our priority, whether fossil fuel billionaires like it or not.”
There is no “middle ground” when it comes to climate policy. If we don’t commit to fully transforming our energy system away from fossil fuels, we will doom future generations. Fighting climate change must be our priority, whether fossil fuel billionaires like it or not.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) May 10, 2019
Biden pushed back on the criticism on Twitter later in the day, saying, “I’m proud to have been one of the first to introduce climate change legislation. What I fought for in 1986 is more important than ever — climate change is an existential threat. Now. Today.”
We need policies that reflect this urgency. I’ll have more specifics on how America can lead on climate in the coming weeks.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) May 10, 2019
New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, one of the leaders of the “Green New Deal,” called Biden’s “middle ground” approach “a dealbreaker.”