POLITICS

Hillary Clinton Focuses On Renewable Energy In Climate Change Plan

Climate change deniers are "just not paying attention," she says.

WASHINGTON -- In an ambitious climate change plan, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton pledged to make sure every American home can be powered by renewable energy by 2027 if elected president and install half a billion solar panels around the country before the end of her first term.

Her campaign released a copy of the plan Sunday evening. Clinton spoke about climate change at two campaign events in Iowa earlier in the day, telling supporters that climate change deniers are “just not paying attention.”

"Those people on the other side, they will answer any question about climate change by saying, 'I’m not a scientist.' Well, I’m not a scientist either. I’m just a grandmother with two eyes and a brain," she said.

Clinton’s proposal also calls for promoting tax credits to incentivize a push toward renewable energy and away from coal.

"We can make a transition over time from a fossil fuel economy, predominantly, to a clean renewable energy economy, predominantly," she said on Sunday.

Clinton plans to address these proposals in more detail at an event on Monday, according to her campaign. The plan is a preview of more specific policy positions that she will announce in the coming months, which will include a Clean Energy Challenge involving competitive grants for states and municipalities to develop and implement renewable energy solutions.

On Sunday evening, environmental groups such as the Sierra Club and the League of Conservation Voters quickly issued statements applauding Clinton's plan.

Climate change activist Tom Steyer endorsed Clinton's plan in a statement, calling her "a strong leader in solving the climate crisis." 

“I look forward to other candidates laying out aggressive plans to tackle climate change head-on. It’s time for all leaders to acknowledge the problem our country faces and engage in a robust debate about the best way to tackle climate change and build a clean energy economy," he said.

The billionaire founder of NextGen Climate, who hosted a Clinton fundraiser at his San Francisco home in May, called for all of the presidential candidates to develop concrete plans to increase clean energy usage. Steyer said last Friday that he would not support candidates without such proposals.

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D), one of Clinton’s challengers in the race, unveiled a climate change plan last month. Responding to Clinton, his campaign noted Sunday that as governor of Maryland, he doubled the state’s renewable fuel production and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent. 

O’Malley and fellow Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) have also been outspoken against the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, while Clinton has largely avoided the issue.

This article has been updated with a statement from Tom Steyer and responses from environmental groups.

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