CNN revealed Tuesday night the details of its upcoming climate town hall with 10 Democratic presidential candidates.
Former Vice President Joe Biden will be one of several candidates who will appear in New York at back-to-back town halls on Sept. 4, taking audience questions but not delving deeply into any debate surrounding the science of climate change. CNN announced the schedule of the town hall, which will begin at 5 p.m. and conclude around 12 a.m. the next day.
Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro will kick off the night and take questions from CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. He will be followed by businessman Andrew Yang, who announced his version of a Green New Deal Monday. His plan is expected to cost roughly $4.9 trillion and will include taxes against fossil fuel candidates.
Biden will appear at 8 p.m. and be interviewed by CNN’s Anderson Cooper, who will also discuss climate change with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders at 8:40 p.m. Sanders, a self-avowed socialist, introduced his version of the Green New Deal on Aug. 22, which he says will create 20 million jobs.
Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey will bring up the rear as he faces questions from CNN’s Don Lemon at 11:20 p.m. Each candidate will have 40 minutes to speak. CNN has not responded to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment. (RELATED: Bernie Sanders Says His $16-Trillion Green New Deal-Like Plan Will Create 20 Million Jobs)
The town hall comes as a fissure is erupting within the Democratic Party. Moderates in the party want to take a more cautious approach toward climate policies while left-wing firebrands support nothing less than eliminating all fossil fuel production within the next decade.
Sanders and Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, for example, want to move the U.S. to 100% green energy, federal job guarantees for workers forced out of their fossil fuel jobs, guaranteed minimum income and universal health care. Analysts warn the Green New Deal could come with a monster price tag.
Eliminating fossil fuels and transitioning to a 100% renewable electric grid could cost as much as $5.2 trillion over two decades, according to a 2010 study by the conservative Heritage Foundation. That’s about $218 billion to move the grid away from coal and natural gas.
Mainstream Democrats are hesitant, especially those who remember the party’s failed carbon tax experiment in 2010, which ultimately helped thrust them into a political wasteland after the GOP won both houses of Congress that year.
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