2020 Dems Target Energy Industry In Climate Push

SETTING SIGHTS ON THE ENERGY INDUSTRY: Democratic presidential hopefuls seem to be channeling the fervor of climate activists who are aiming to hold oil and gas producers liable for the costs incurred from climbing temperatures, rising seas and catastrophic weather. Their opponents see an opening to paint the party as pushing a radical agenda to undermine an industry that's been a bright spot for the economy and has cut U.S. dependence on foreign oil, Pro's Zack Colman reports this morning.

"The deeper and the longer the Democrats talk about this, the happier the Trump campaign is," said Ford O'Connell, a Republican strategist. "They see fodder not so much in the issue but in the solutions being proposed by the Democrats."

Last month's debates offered a glimpse. Attacks on fossil fuel producers came from leading candidates Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who was perhaps the most vocal among the front-runners by saying the companies were engaging in "criminal activity" by promoting fossil fuels despite their knowledge they were driving climate change.

And Sen. Elizabeth Warren has been pushing legislation requiring more climate change disclosures by companies, a move that could help spark new lawsuits against the energy producers.

Environmental groups say there's room to sharpen government oversight. "The conversation has particularly evolved to the point where we're not just talking about what's happening, we are talking about getting to the root of the problem and who's responsible," 350.org spokeswoman Lindsay Meiman said.

Read more from Kelsey Tamborinno at Politico

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published this page in In The News 2019-08-10 20:30:47 -0400
Analysis & Political Strategy