Ruppersberger Signals Support for Green New Deal

    If you had to place Maryland’s seven Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives on an ideological spectrum, you would probably say 2nd District Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger is considerably more centrist than most of the rest.

    Not that Ruppersberger is anyone’s idea of a conservative. But he is an old-fashioned lunch pail Democrat who represents several working class and suburban areas near Baltimore.

    So at first glance, it was somewhat surprising this week to see Ruppersberger actively embracing the so-called Green New Deal, the aspirational document most closely associated with freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) – and one roundly mocked by many Republicans. On the other hand, considering that there are whispers about Ruppersberger facing a challenge from the left in the 2020 Democratic primary – with no tangible evidence at the moment – maybe it isn’t so surprising after all.

    Ruppersberger telegraphed his support for the policies in the Green New Deal in an email to supporters.

    “When I think about climate change, I think of my grandson, Charlie,” the congressman wrote. “He’s just a year-and-a-half-old. Will he be able to enjoy the beaches at Ocean City or will they be destroyed by extreme weather and rising tides? What kind of planet will we be leaving for him?

    “Climate change is one of the biggest challenges of our lifetime and I will not sit on the sidelines. That is why I am supporting the Green New Deal.

    “Maryland is one of the states most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Extreme weather and rising sea levels will devastate our economy and way of life. The instability it creates will touch everything from tourism to our national security. We must act, and we must act now.

    “The Green New Deal lays out broad, ambitious policies that I agree with. In addition to aiming to achieve carbon neutrality, the plan proposes green jobs in the clean energy sector and affordable college, housing, and healthcare. These are all ideas I stand by. I look forward to working with my colleagues to find ways to implement these bold initiatives.”

    At the end of the email, Ruppersberger urges readers to click on a link signaling their support for the Green New Deal as well, “before it’s too late.”

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    Josh Kurtz
    Co-founder and Editor Josh Kurtz is the leading chronicler of Maryland politics and government. He began covering the State House in 1995 for The Gazette newspapers, and has been writing about state and local politics ever since. He later became an editor at Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, and spent eight years at E&E News, an online subscription-only publisher of news websites covering energy and environmental issues. For seven of those years, he led a staff of 20 reporters at E&E Daily, which covers energy and environmental policy on Capitol Hill and in national politics. For 6 1/2 years he wrote a weekly column on state politics for Center Maryland and has written for several other Maryland publications as well. Kurtz has given speeches and appeared on TV and radio shows about Maryland politics through the years.