U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay (D-University City) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York) are teaming up to cosponsor the Green New Deal Resolution in the U.S. House. Courtesy William Lacy Clay

In the warming 'Green New Deal' debate, a tale of coasts vs. midlands

WASHINGTON • When Democrats rolled out their “Green New Deal” resolutions in Congress, 38 of the 68 initial House sponsors were from three states: California, New York and Massachusetts. Only 18 were from noncoastal states.

Nine of 11 initial Democratic co-sponsors in the Senate were from coastal states. The other two — Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota — are running in a crowded Democratic presidential primary where the expansive, socialistic provisions in the measure appeal to liberal voters.

Such a coast vs. interior contrast that was so evident in President Donald Trump’s election in 2016 is central to understanding the paralyzing polarization on climate change.

Republicans, strongest in the center of the country, defend fossil fuel as crucial to the nation’s economic and national security. But that stance invites criticism that they’re indifferent to science showing human activity contributes to rising greenhouse gas levels.

The Democrats’ Green New Deal — a broadly written wish list advocating for transformational changes in the economy and society — has rekindled claims that the Democrats are again walking leftward off the deep end.

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