Progressives torn over pushing green agenda in shadow of Ukraine war

The deadly Russian invasion of Ukraine has made worldwide impacts, especially at the gas pump.

Progressive lawmakers are in support of clean, green energy and some aim to use the Ukraine crisis to promote their energy agenda. On the other hand, other liberal lawmakers are reluctant to use the war as a reason for the US to embrace electric vehicles and renewable energy (NBC News). 

Representative Alan Lowenthal (D-CA) of Long Beach, California says that residents in his district are concerned by the war in Ukraine.

“The human misery and the attacks on Ukraine are overwhelming to my district and the American public. I’m getting a tremendous amount of mail asking me what are we going to do,” Lowenthal told NBC News, while noting the dual economic and military challenges. “Right now, the focus is on the cost of gasoline and Ukraine, and the fear that we could be in a war ourselves. Fear has gripped the nation” (NBC News).

Representative Melanie Stansbury (D-NM) agrees that the focus must be on Ukraine and the climate. “Americans are really struggling economically, and gas prices are impacting people and people are really feeling that in their wallets… It’s a moment when we have to make sure that we’re fighting the good fight on the international front and we’re supporting our own citizens at home economically” (NBC News). 

The national average for a gallon of gas is $4.07 per gallon, up more than ten percent, hitting record highs (NY Times). The last time gas prices hit such a high was during the 2008 economic recession when gas was roughly $5.37 per gallon when adjusted for inflation. 

Democratic Representative Sean Patrick Maloney of New York stated, “It’s critical that we do something about the pain of the pump,” he said, “but it’s a false choice to think we can’t tackle the climate crisis at the same time or at least adopt the policies that will move us in that direction” (NBC News).

The upcoming midterm elections and the ongoing war are conflicting progressives as the world continues to be affected by the invasion of Ukraine. 




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