- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Democratic party’s presidential contenders — with one exception — vowed Tuesday night to go further than President Obama in fighting climate change and some said the administration’s “all-of-the-above” energy strategy is a mistake.

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, in particular, said the nation must speed its move away from fossil fuels.

“I’m the only candidate in either party, I believe, to do this — to move America forward to a 100 percent clean electric grid by 2050. We did not land a man on the moon with an all-of-the-above energy strategy,” he said at the party’s first presidential debate in Las Vegas. “It was an intentional engineering challenge and we solved it as a nation and our nation must solve this one.”

Mr. Obama has implemented major new climate policies, including the nation’s first restrictions on carbon emissions from power plants, but the White House also has touted an “all-of-the-above” approach that includes oil and natural gas.

Sen. Bernard Sanders, Vermont independent seeking the White House as a Democrat, also said the U.S. must be more “aggressive” in combating global warming, vowing to go even further than the current president has gone.

“The scientists are telling us we need to move extremely boldly,” he said.

Mr. Obama also has pursued international climate agreements with China, the world’s No. 1 polluter, and other nations. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said such negotiations are key to saving the planet.

“There will be no effective efforts on climate change unless China and India join with the rest of the world,” she said.

But former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb has taken a different approach than his fellow Democrats and, for example, continues to support coal as a part of the U.S. energy mix. He said the next administration must focus on international agreements and not simply rely on domestic environmental regulations.

“We aren’t going to solve climate change simply with the laws here,” he said.

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