Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), while campaigning in Texas and Pennsylvania, has glossed over her and Joe Biden’s plan to reach “Net Zero,” a reference to their plan to eliminate all carbon emissions by 2050, despite explicitly mentioning it in other states.
Harris has delivered similar speeches over the last week while campaigning in Arizona, Texas, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.
However, when campaigning in energy-dependent Texas and Pennsylvania, she avoided explicitly saying the words “Net Zero.”
On Thursday in Tucson, Arizona, Harris said:
Joe Biden says, ‘Let’s deal with this. Let’s face facts, let’s embrace science, let us do it with a sense of urgency and also understand we need to set time limits. Net Zero emissions by 2050, we need to set goals that include investment in renewable energies.
But, on Friday in Fort Worth, Texas, she said:
And we see that in this moment of opportunity, to have timelines, understanding we must deal with this with a sense of urgency, that we also have the opportunity to grow our economy and create jobs. Joe sees the opportunity and the moment to invest in renewable energies.
That same day in Edinburg, Texas, she said:
Joe Biden says, ‘We need to embrace science. We need to speak truth, we need to deal with this with timelines and a sense of urgency because we need to be able to breathe clean air and drink clean water and see the connections between human behaviors and the crisis we are facing. Joe knows this is not only about what we need to do for our environment, the opportunity in the moment is that we and also create jobs.
And in Houston, she said:
Joe has the courage to say the clock is ticking on this and we need to approach this with a sense of urgency. Joe knows that this is also an environmental justice issue, which is also a civil rights issue, which is a human rights issue, when you look at the fact that of all areas in our country with poor air quality, 70 percent of the occupants in those areas are people of color.
But the next day at a rally in Palm Beach, Florida, Harris was back to mentioning “Net Zero.”
Joe says, ‘Look,’ we got to deal with this with a sense of urgency, and put in place timelines, we need to have Net Zero emissions by 2050. We need to invest in renewable energies, we need to invest in solar and wind, and Joe knows that all of this is also about building back up our economy, it’ll be about creating jobs.
And on Sunday in Atlanta, Georgia, she said:
Joe Biden says, ‘Hey, we need to deal with the reality of this, the urgency of this — the clock is ticking. We need to have timelines, like Net Zero emissions by 2050. We need to invest in renewable energies and wind turbines and solar paneling and let us understand this is about the creation of jobs.
Later that day in Goldsboro, North Carolina, she said:
Joe says, ‘We gotta deal with this with a sense of urgency, understanding this is going to represent an existential threat to who we are as human beings and we can do something about this but we must embrace the science. We must take this on with a sense of urgency, we must have timelines like 2050 for Net Zero emissions. And understand there is an opportunity in the moment to create jobs.
In Pennsylvania on Monday, Harris again began avoiding saying the phrase “Net Zero.”
One reason Harris may have avoided mentioning “Net Zero” in Texas and Pennsylvania is that those two states economies have large oil and gas industries. Texas is known as the “energy capital of the world.”
Some Democrats distanced themselves from former Vice President Joe Biden’s remarks at the last presidential debate that he would close down the oil industry. After the debate, he immediately sought to clarify his remarks by saying he meant he would end federal subsidies for the oil industry.
His campaign website clearly states that if elected president, Biden would move to transition away from oil. It says, “As president, Biden will lead the world to address the climate emergency and lead through the power of example, by ensuring the U.S. achieves a 100% clean energy economy and net-zero emissions no later than 2050.”