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Jay Inslee announces presidential bid, says defeating climate change ‘number one priority’

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) announced he’ll be running for president in 2020, and his announcement makes defeating climate change the primary goal of his campaign.

Inslee released a video today announcing his candidacy, and it concentrates on climate change. The video features a montage of Inslee referencing climate change, carbon pollution, and a new energy future in past news clips before he addresses the viewer directly. Inslee says, “I’m running for president because I’m the only candidate who will make defeating climate change our nation’s number one priority.”

The video, which lasts for less than one and a half minutes, also touches upon a number of other topics related to the Green New Deal, though Inslee doesn’t specifically reference the resolution. Inslee said the country has an opportunity to transform the economy through a transition to “100 percent green energy” which will create “millions of high-paying jobs” and “a more just future for everyone.”

We’ve included a link to the video here (playback has been disabled outside of YouTube).

In an interview with Vox, Inslee was asked if he’s endorsed the Green New Deal. He said,

“Well, I don’t get to vote on it, but I am totally in sync and believe that it is exactly what I have said for decades. I think these aspirational goals are appropriate to the time and the scale. I love the fact that it is embracing economic justice issues as well. I think we have come to understand more about how marginalized communities have been the victims of climate change.”

Inslee’s launched a campaign website that further details what he calls “America’s Climate Mission.” The mission lists four key principles:

  • Powering our economy with clean energy
  • Investing in good jobs, infrastructure & innovation
  • Fighting for environmental justice & economic inclusion
  • Ending fossil fuel giveaways

Inslee is a co-founder of the U.S. Climate Alliance, which added a new member on Thursday.

Electrek’s Take

There’s a long way to go before the Democratic primaries, and sure, a lot could happen. But it’s tough to see Inslee as a major threat in a crowded field, especially considering his relative lack of name recognition compared to some other candidates. It’s also worth noting that a number of other candidates have announced their support for the Green New Deal.

However, at the very least, a presidential candidate running primarily on climate change issues can do a lot to advance the national conversation. If he’s able to stay in the race for any length of time, and speak passionately — and effectively — about climate change, it should be a net positive for the country.

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Phil Dzikiy is an Editor/Writer with Electrek/9to5Mac. Tips: