Lee's Senate campaign introduces sweeping climate and environment plan

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Rep. Barbara Lee’s (D-Calif.) Senate campaign released the California congresswoman’s plan for climate action Friday, two weeks after frontrunner Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.). 

The plan, first shared with The Hill, emphasizes resolving racial and class disparities in environmental matters and promises to expand the Biden administration’s Justice40 initiative, which requires at least 40 percent of benefits from federal renewable energy investments to flow to disadvantaged communities.

Lee’s plan also calls for passage of the A. Donald McEachin Environmental Justice for All Act, a sweeping bill aimed at addressing environmental disparities named for the late Virginia congressman who introduced an early version.

It would also address fossil fuel use by the Department of Defense, the world’s single biggest consumer of fossil fuels at an institutional level. Lee has been an outspoken critic of the Pentagon’s size and budget and in 2001 was the only member of Congress to vote against the invasion of Afghanistan following the Sept. 11 attacks. Lee’s plan calls for the passage of legislation she has sponsored that would cut the defense budget by some $100 million. 

The California congresswoman’s plan further calls for the reimplementation of a ban on offshore drilling, as well as passage of a “Green New Deal for Cities” that would allocate $1 trillion for state and local governments to develop climate resiliency.

“An urgent approach to climate means rectifying historical injustices, strengthening global peace and security, investing in jobs, and holding corporations accountable,” Lee said in a statement. “We can, and we must, prioritize the health of our world and the health of communities — especially those that have and continue to bear the brunt of this crisis — for a truly just and sustainable future.”

Schiff was the first candidate to introduce his plan in February. Republican Steve Garvey is second to Schiff in most polling, followed by Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) and Lee. Under the state’s jungle primary system, the top two finishers will advance to the general election.

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