Ms. Harris’s plan includes many of the same basic policy elements as those of her rivals: a blueprint to end fossil fuel pollution from electricity generation by 2030, a halt on new fossil fuel leases on public lands and the imposition of aggressive new regulations on vehicle tailpipe pollution.
Environmental policy experts noted that Ms. Harris’s record on advancing climate change policy was thin, though she was an early advocate of the Green New Deal. But they said her focus on using the courts as a muscular tool to push through concrete greenhouse gas reductions could be effective, given that Congress has failed to do so.
“She’s going to throw the book at climate,” Mr. Book said. “It could be one way to meet the challenge of making radical new change with decades-old laws.”
Mr. Castro’s plan also includes several ideas either directly adopted from or developed in consultation with Mr. Inslee, such as a plan to replace all coal-fired power generation with zero-emissions sources by 2030, and a proposal to marshal $10 trillion in federal, state, local and private spending on jobs associated with the transition from polluting to nonpolluting energy.
Also at least some echoes of Mr. Inslee’s proposals are included in Mr. Booker’s plan, which calls for $3 trillion in spending to achieve a carbon-neutral economy by 2045, and in Ms. Klobuchar’s plan, which calls for reinstating Obama-era regulations on fossil fuel emissions to put the nation on track to a carbon-neutral economy by 2050.
Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, a rival of Ms. Warren’s on the left, has not explicitly taken up Mr. Inslee’s ideas. Instead, analysts said, he is trying to win over the progressive wing of the Democratic Party with a climate plan that takes its name from the Green New Deal and has the biggest price tag of all the candidates’ proposals — $16.3 trillion over 15 years. He has called for banning fracking to extract natural gas, and for halting the import and export of coal, oil and natural gas.
“I think Sanders is looking for ways to prove that he’s the true progressive in the race,” said Paul Bledsoe, a lecturer at American University’s Center for Environmental Policy.
Mr. Bledsoe said Wednesday night’s forum could also be an opportunity for former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. to burnish his image. Mr. Biden’s climate plan, which calls for $1.7 trillion in spending over 10 years, initially won praise from environmental activists. But he came under attack from other candidates at the second Democratic debate for not being ambitious enough.
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