States with poor climate policy ‘overlap’ with those seeking to limit rights, Kamala Harris says
AUSTIN — Texas Sen. Kamala Harris is joining the chorus of Democratic presidential candidates who are pointing to the issue of climate policy and economic inequality as a top priority in their campaigns.
Harris said on Wednesday that those campaigns have “shared common ground” on a number of issues, including the growing issue of climate justice.
“The issues of climate change and climate justice and economic inequality are both very important to me as a candidate because they are too important,” Harris said. “They are not things you’re supposed to separate because they’re two sides of the same coin.”
Harris, who made climate change a centerpiece of her campaign early on, has emerged as a vocal voice on the issue.
Harris’ comments come as the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates scramble to broaden their appeal beyond the more traditional, white, male centers of the party base and amid the growing controversy over the Democratic presidential field’s anti-environmental policy positions that have been criticized as being out of touch with many environmentalists.
Some candidates, such as Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, have pushed back against the criticism, while others, like former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, have said they support the cause of reducing the nation’s carbon emissions.
Harris, who has earned a reputation for being one of the most progressive candidates in politics, has often been compared to Sanders.
But unlike him she did not shy away from addressing the issue head-on, like he has done. And her comments on Wednesday come ahead of a potential debate that could bring more attention to the issue of climate change and economic inequality.
Harris has proposed a number of ideas to address the issue, including increasing the minimum wage and investing in clean energy. She also supported an increase to the federal minimum wage during her time in the House before Democrats lost their majority in the majority in 2010.
Harris has also said she is open to eliminating the federal estate tax, which would provide more money to funding programs including education and the Affordable Care Act.
And a recent policy poll conducted by