DNC Chair’s Latest Resolution Could Torpedo Climate Debate Push, Activists Fear

Democratic National Committee chief Tom Perez has proposed a resolution on the climate crisis that activists fear could be an attempt to undermine the push for a presidential primary debate devoted entirely to global warming. 

The proposal, titled “Resolution Recommitting the Democratic Party to the Work of Combating Climate Change and Creating Jobs by Growing our Clean Energy Economy,” makes nine general points mostly about the threat posed by global warming and the Trump administration’s denial of the science. HuffPost obtained a copy of the resolution from a DNC insider.

But the final clause praises Democratic presidential contenders for “demonstrating their commitment to tackling the issue of climate change, having already scheduled two televised forums on CNN and MSNBC to discuss the issue, and debating the issue during each of the DNC-sanctioned presidential primary debates.”

That, say activists, appears to provide cover to the DNC to reject a resolution calling for an official debate on the climate crisis. The DNC is expected to consider proposals for a climate debate and a party-sanctioned forum later this month. 

“This is a move by Tom Perez to try to kill climate debates ahead of the convention,” said Stephen O’Hanlon, a spokesman for the youth-led Sunrise Movement, which is pushing for a climate debate. “He knows that the base and nearly all presidential candidates support a climate debate. The only way he can stop this is through insider game tactics.”

The DNC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“The key to reading a resolution is to ignore all the ‘whereas’ clauses as nothing more than pretty words and read only the ‘therefore’ clause,” said R.L. Miller, a Democratic activist and president of the political action committee Climate Hawks Vote. “What he’s done is relegated the climate debate issue to a ‘whereas’ clause to downplay it. This just treats the climate debate as nothing more than pretty words.”

This story is developing…

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