POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT

Where the Democratic presidential candidates stand on Colorado issues

Ahead of the state’s presidential primary on Super Tuesday, the Democratic candidates talk health care, marijuana, education, public land and beer

Reporting:

Design:

 

Design:

 

IMPORTANT VOTING INFORMATION

Q: 100% RENEWABLE


 

Q:

How would your administration’s energy policy move toward 100% renewable energy, which also is the goal for Colorado leaders?

Background: The push toward renewable energy continues, but reaching 100% would require major changes at the regulatory and consumer level. In Colorado, just 23% of the state’s power is generated from wind, solar and hydroelectric power, with the rest coming from fossil fuels like coal and natural gas. The national picture looks similar. Achieving that goal will mean financial pain for a fossil fuel industry that employs more than 30,000 workers in the state, among oil, gas and coal. Colorado’s Democratic governor set a goal to reach 100% renewable energy by 2040.

 

Wants all renewable energy by 2050

A: In the campaign, he announced he supports a 100% renewable energy plan by 2050, a move he says needs $1.7 trillion to achieve net-zero emissions by then. His climate plan includes a number of measures to hit these targets at the federal level, and highlights ongoing efforts here in Colorado to do the same.

 

 

 

Move electricity and transportation to renewable energy by 2030

A: He pledged that his administration would reach 100% renewable energy for electricity and transportation by no later than 2030, and plans to move the nation’s economy to “complete decarbonization” by 2050 at the latest. This is all part of the Green New Deal plan he supports that would invest billions into developing more renewable energy. For the Colorado oil and gas workers displaced, Sanders said he would guarantee five years of the worker’s current salary and offer health care, housing assistance and pension support, as well as training for a new job placement.

 

 

 

A blue and green new deal fan

A: The Green New Deal is at the center of Warren’s climate plan, which calls for 100% clean energy within 10 years. Her 100% target is more ambitious than some, calling for decarbonization not just of the power grid, but also cars and trucks, which recently eclipsed the utility sector as the top source of carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. To reach her goal, she’s offered a series of proposals that includes spending $1.5 trillion on U.S.-manufactured renewable energy products, $400 billion on research and development and $100 billion to export clean energy technology to help other countries reduce their own emissions. She also has a companion plan -- the “Blue New Deal” -- which calls for an expansion of off-shore wind farms, using the Block Island project off the coast of Rhode Island as a model. Warren has proposed establishing a Green Bank to finance the massive investments in clean energy, and issuing Green Victory Bonds modeled after the war bond program in World War II.

 

 

 

Takes a less aggressive approach to cutting emissions

A: Even though he is one of the most outspoken advocates for the Paris climate accord, Bloomberg’s climate targets aren’t quite as aggressive as some of his rivals. He’s calling for 80% clean electricity in the U.S. by the end of his second term -- 2028 -- before moving as soon as possible to a 100% clean power grid. And he wants to cut economy-wide emissions by 50 percent by 2030. He hopes to get there through a national clean energy standard, tax incentives and stronger pollution standards for power plants. He also wants to change federal policy “to give wind and solar -- which are often the cheapest option for consumers -- a level playing field” by ending all public subsidies for fossil fuels. He’s proposed $25 billion a year for research and development.

 

 

 

Declare climate change a national emergency

A: Steyer pledges to declare climate change a national emergency on Day One of his administration. He proposes requiring 100% carbon-free electricity no later than 2040, and has a goal to make the entire economy carbon neutral by 2045. And if Congress doesn’t act quickly, he says, “I will not hesitate to use the emergency powers of the presidency to protect the American public from the climate crisis.” This is an idea that caught on among progressives after President Donald Trump used emergency powers to divert funding to a border wall last year. Additionally, Steyer says he would direct every federal agency to tackle climate change, and he plans to make $2 trillion in climate-related investments that he says would create 46 million jobs over the next decade.

 

 

 

Wants carbon emissions at zero by 2050

A: Like other candidates, her campaign set a 100% net-zero emissions goal. She hopes to reach the mark by 2050. Klobuchar’s agenda includes efforts to boost renewable energy, including on federal public lands, through incentives at federal and local levels.

 

 

 

Renewable energy for cars and electricity by 2035

A: His climate plan includes the establishment of a clean electricity standard at the national level that would use state-level goals like those in Colorado and allow communities to develop their own solutions. Buttigieg wants 100% renewable electricity by 2035, the same year that he envisions all new passenger cars being zero-emission vehicles.

 

 

The Issues


Pick a card to see stances from the candidates.


 

The Candidates


Click a candidate to see where they stand.


 

Joe Biden

Joe Biden

Former Vice President and U.S. Senator   

Michael Bloomberg

Michael Bloomberg

Former New York Mayor and businessman   

x Pete Buttigieg

x Pete Buttigieg

Former Mayor of South Bend, Indiana (Campaign suspended 3/1/20)   

x Amy Klobuchar

x Amy Klobuchar

U.S. Senator from Minnesota (Campaign suspended 3/2/20)   

Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders

Independent U.S. Senator from Vermont   

x Tom Steyer

x Tom Steyer

Businessman and climate activist (Campaign suspended 2/29/20)   

Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren

U.S. Senator from Massachusetts