Jay Inslee’s Parting Gift: A Plan to Save American Farms

The ex-2020 candidate implied that the other Democrats should steal his climate platform.

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Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced the end of his campaign to seek the presidency last week since he hadn’t polled high enough to participate in the second round of debates. But he went out with a bang — at least in terms of climate policy. Earlier that same day, he’d released one final policy proposal, the sixth hefty installment in his roughly 200-page climate platform: a plan for rural prosperity.

The proposal boiled down to two main principles: First, pay rural communities for the environmental services they provide, like using crops to suck carbon out of the air. Second, give tons of money (we’re talking billions and billions) to the scientists and educators these communities would need to support their transformation to the engines of a clean economy. The day after Inslee dropped out of the race, his farm plan went missing from the web (update: it’s back up now) but those of us ag nerds who got a chance to read it were pretty impressed. It would be a shame if this were the end of the road, not just for Inslee, but also for his ideas and the homework his team has done.

In fact, Inslee himself seemed to suggest that other candidates should read up on his plan and crib as much as they want. “It’s a governing document, not a campaign slogan,” the governor said on MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show when he announced his withdrawal from the race. “And now it’s open source.”

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Earlier this week candidate Elizabeth Warren said she was adopting the policies outlined in Inslee’s plan.)

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