Hickenlooper slams Green New Deal’s ‘unachievable’ goals

Source: Timothy Cama, E&E News reporter • Posted: Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Democratic presidential hopeful John Hickenlooper criticized the Green New Deal proposal in an opinion piece today, saying it “sets us up for failure.”

Writing in The Washington Post hours before the Senate’s procedural vote on the resolution, Hickenlooper lauded the “concept” of a dramatic shift away from fossil fuels and toward renewable and clean energy.

“But given the scope of the threat of global climate change, it is also imperative we approach it correctly,” he wrote.

“Some versions of the Green New Deal, such as the resolution from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) that the Senate is set to vote on Tuesday, express laudable aims but also take an approach that limits our prospects for success.”

The former Colorado governor called the goals of the Green New Deal, like net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, “unachievable,” and slammed the proposal for a universal jobs guarantee, universal health care and other provisions.

Hickenlooper’s piece sets him apart from much of the rest of the crowded Democratic field of candidates hoping to take on President Trump in next year’s election.

Most of the candidates have shown some level of support for the Green New Deal, including all the Senate Democrats in the race, who are co-sponsors of Markey’s resolution: Cory Booker of New Jersey, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Kamala Harris of California, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, as well as Bernie Sanders of Vermont, an independent senator who caucuses with Democrats.

Former Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.) has also criticized the deal, tweeting in February that it’s “about as realistic as Trump saying that Mexico is going to pay for the wall. Let’s focus on what’s possible, not what’s impossible.”

Klobuchar called the proposal “aspirational” in a February Fox News interview but said she still supports the resolution.

Hickenlooper had a record as Colorado’s governor of being relatively moderate on fossil fuels. He opposed proposals to more strictly regulate oil and natural gas, like a ballot initiative last year that would have greatly expanded drilling setbacks from homes, businesses and other development, though he helped strike a compromise on the nation’s first methane emissions standards for drillers in 2012.