By John L. Micek
For the Pittsburgh Current
Former Georgia gubernatorial candidate and Democratic rising star Stacey Abrams is among a high-wattage roster of political activists, strategists and digital organizers who are looking to reframe the debate around climate issues in eight battleground states — including Pennsylvania — ahead of the November general election.
The group, christened Climate Power 2020, is a joint effort between the League of Conservation Voters, the Center for America Progress Action Fund, and the Sierra Club. On its website, the new group boasts that “We believe in science. Donald Trump does not.”
John Podesta, the veteran Democratic operative and former aide to Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, said the group wants to help hold President Donald Trump “accountable for his rejection of science, facts, and reality. For both COVID-19 and the climate crisis, the anti-science policies from this administration are pushing our nation into crisis.
“Today, it fueled a pandemic. Tomorrow, we will see the consequences in a world destabilized by climate change,” Podesta said in a statement. “Climate Power 2020 will change the politics of climate — pushing all candidates to aggressively campaign on climate action and holding science-denying campaigns accountable.”
In its statement, the group said it plans to focus its efforts on Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin — all states that will be hotly contested in 2020. Trump narrowly won Pennsylvania in 2016, and Democrats are looking to take it back this fall.
“Our city is proving that protecting the planet is good for our families, health and economy. We know President Trump stands with polluters—not Pennsylvanians,” Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto said in a statement. “Climate Power 2020 will harness the energy of Pennsylvanians who want bold climate action, and hold Trump accountable for failing to protect our communities from the growing impacts of climate change. By working together, we can demonstrate that a green jobs plan for Appalachia is both good policy and good politics.”
In a statement, Abrams argued that “communities of color are paying the highest price for Trump’s failure to adequately prepare for COVID-19 and his inaction on climate change. We can’t change the past, but we can prevent the next disaster.
“[This year] 2020 is our biggest chance to take action on climate change in an equitable way, and we need to hold Donald Trump accountable for his dangerous attack on science and shortsighted policies,” she said.
John L. Micek is the Editor of the Pennsylvania Capital-Star where this story first appeared.