- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 10, 2019

Democratic presidential contender Pete Buttigieg on Sunday endorsed a Green New Deal, saying the blueprint needs fine-turning but provides a framework for addressing climate change and revamping the Rust Belt economy.

“It matches a sense of urgency about that problem of climate change with a sense of opportunity around what the solutions might represent,” Mr. Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, told CNN’s State of the Union.

The Green New Deal is an ambitious plan to tackle climate change with specific mandates, such as shifting 100 percent of U.S. power demands onto renewable sources within a decade.

It’s a key goal for freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other outspoken liberals, though House Democratic leaders haven’t embraced it wholesale, saying they worry about the logistical and political feasibility of meeting near-term targets. Instead, they revived a special climate-change committee that Republicans scrapped in 2011.

President Trump, who’s pursued a pro-fossil fuel agenda, is openly mocking the idea of a Green New Deal.

“It would be great for the so-called ‘Carbon Footprint’ to permanently eliminate all Planes, Cars, Cows, Oil, Gas & the Military - even if no other country would do the same. Brilliant!” he tweeted Saturday.

Mr. Buttigieg argued the deal would actually boost the economy, including the industrial Midwest. For instance, his county recently increased the number of union jobs in the auto industry through electric-car manufacturing.

“I think a Green New Deal would support that,” he said.

Mr. Buttigieg faces a crowded Democratic field heading into 2020.

If elected, he would be the first openly gay president and the youngest. He’d turn 39 around the time of a 2021 inauguration.

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