Amy Klobuchar Sees Gray Areas of the Green New Deal
Minnesota Democrat calls herself 'progressive' but begs to differ with her liberal colleagues on how to address climate change
“I believe in progress and that’s being progressive,” said Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) is a live interview on Fox News Channel’s “Special Report with Brett Baier” on Tuesday night.
(What does that mean, exactly?)
“But what I really also believe in is that we need to stop governing from chaos and move to opportunity, and these are views and values — not just consistent with my party, but also with America,” said the Democrat who this past weekend in Minneapolis declared her intention to run in 2020 for the Democrat nomination.
In his exclusive interview with her, Fox News host Brett Baier pressed the senator (shown above right, beside Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) on a few issues.
“You’ve been supportive of border security and a barrier in the past. Are you now?” he asked her after playing a clip of President Donald Trump’s position on border security issues, including walls, from the president’s Monday night rally in El Paso, Texas.
“I don’t live behind a gate. I didn’t grow up with a lot of money,” Klobuchar replied. “But I believe that you can have border security and do it in a smart way. I don’t think that is running a wall across a whole border. When you look at some of our issues … some of the areas involve a fence, some a barrier. But one of the major problems we have right now is the drugs coming in, and [the drugs are] not coming in in those areas without a wall. It tends to be coming in at the ports of entry. And so that’s why I have not looked at this [budget] agreement yet [reached on Monday night by a bipartisan group of lawmakers] … But I know that that was a major focus of some of the negotiations … [on the] work that’s being done at those ports of entry.”
She dodged specific questions about the deportation of illegal immigrants, saying she wanted “comprehensive immigration reform.”
But it was her comments on the Democrats’ Green New Deal that may have some liberal eyebrows raised right now.
Baier asked her, “If the Senate majority leader brings it to the floor [as Rep. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) suggested Monday he will], how do you vote on it?”
“The Green New Deal? I see it as — by the way, I see it as aspirational. I see it as a jumpstart. So I would vote yes, but I would also — if it got down to the nitty-gritty of an actual legislation as opposed to, ‘Oh, here’s some goals we have,’ that would be different for me.”
The Fox News host pressed her on the specific goals of the resolution in a lightning-round type of questioning.
He noted that the Green New Deal includes the “full transition off fossil fuels, including drastically reducing air travel. You for it?”
“I am for a jumpstart of the discussion and a framework, as Sen. [Edward] Markey [of Massachusetts] has described,” she replied awkwardly. “I am not for reducing air travel, so let me —”
“[Are you for] zero greenhouse gas emissions?” Baier asked, moving to another aspect of the resolution.
“I don’t think that is going to happen in the next few years,” replied Klobuchar. “But you can imagine by new technology, and by the way that includes nuclear and everything else — that we could get to a better place. Let me just …”
“Economic security for all who are unable or unwilling to work?” asked Baier.
“I don’t agree with the ‘unwilling to work,'” Klobuchar replied.
“We are not going to reduce air travel right now. We are not going to get rid of all of these industries right now.”
“And last one,” said Baier. “Upgrade or replace every building in the U.S. for state-of-the-art energy efficiency?”
“I think we should put in better building standards, but could I just say what I would like to do and [what] I proposed in my announcement?” said Klobuchar. “What I would like to see is on day one to get back into the international climate change agreement — we are the only country not in it. I would like to see us put in place those clean power rules again. That would bring us a 30-percent reduction. I think those are doable things that we’ve worked on,” she said.
She added, “And if you look at this from an economic standpoint, there’s one thing that people haven’t been talking about. That is that homeowners insurance has gone up something like 50 percent in just the last 10 years — [on] the coast, but why? Because of the risk of climate change. [It was the] fourth hottest year last year — parents driving their kids through wildfires in California trying to talk their kid down … “
She also said, “For us to do nothing and to go backward is wrong.”
And she finished, “So I view this as a framework for discussion, but … we are not going to reduce air travel right now. We are not going to get rid of all of these industries right now. We just need to start as a country seeing it as aspiration to do better than we’re doing now.”
So how much of the Green New Deal does she agree with, then, exactly?