1,400 candidates running on clean energy platforms — LCV

Source: Nick Bowlin, E&E News reporter • Posted: Thursday, September 13, 2018

A record number of candidates are running for office this year on platforms backing 100 percent clean energy by 2050, according to the League of Conservation Voters.

More than 1,400 candidates made the pledge, the group announced on a press call ahead of the Global Climate Action Summit in San Francisco.

“This is an unprecedented level of commitment to clean energy,” said Gene Karpinski, president of LCV Action Fund.

The list features prominent Democratic gubernatorial candidates including J.B. Pritzker in Illinois, Tony Evers in Wisconsin, Jared Polis in Colorado and Gretchen Whitmer in Michigan.

“If the federal government won’t act, then the states must act” on climate change, said Mandela Barnes, Wisconsin’s Democratic lieutenant governor candidate and Evers’ running mate.

Barnes noted that Wisconsin lags behind the country in job growth and stressed the economic benefits of investing in renewables.

“This is an opportunity Wisconsin has missed out on,” he said. He and Evers look to unseat Gov. Scott Walker (R), a major enemy of green groups.

Karpinski said that if Democrats win the House this fall, LCV hopes to see more funding for EPA, a renewable clean energy standard at the federal level, and greater congressional accountability of EPA acting chief Andrew Wheeler and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.

The list released by the group is part of its “Clean Energy for All” campaign. LCV and its state affiliates have commitments from candidates in more than 30 states, including some candidates for utility commissions.

The effort aims for a “pollution-free future.” LCV referenced California’s recently signed law that commits to 100 percent carbon-free energy by 2045.

LCV is pushing candidates nationwide to publicly pledge to support 100 percent renewable energy by the middle of the century. The effort was inspired by the New Jersey LCV in 2017, when it got then-candidate and current Gov. Phil Murphy (D) to commit.