Billionaire Tom Steyer said during Wednesday evening’s Democratic debate that he would use the emergency powers of the presidency to address climate change should be be elected.
“I’m the only person on this stage that will say that climate is the number one priority for me,” Steyer said from the stage of the fifth Democratic debate hosted by MSNBC and The Washington Post.
“It’s a state of emergency, and I would declare a state of emergency on day one. I would use the emergency powers of the presidency,” Steyer said, adding that neither former Vice President Joe Biden nor Senator Elizabeth Warren will say that climate change constitutes an emergency.
Styer went on to tout his record fighting oil companies and fossil fuel plants to promote clean energy in the country, adding that he would make the issue the first priority of his foreign policy as well.
Steyer has focused his campaign on climate change as well impeaching President Trump, spending two years and millions of dollars garnering support for impeachment. Steyer launched the political organization Need to Impeach, which compiled a list of more than 8 million supporters.
In May, Steyer told the crowd at an Iowa town hall that Trump communicates effectively like Hitler and must be impeached before he leads the country down a similarly dark path.
“[Trump] really is an incredibly skillful and talented communicator. He really is, which Hitler was, too,” Steyer agreed with an audience member at the time, although he added that there is still a “very big difference” between the two.
Trump declared a national emergency in February in order to appropriate $8 billion for the construction of the southern-border wall that was his signature campaign promise. The president made the move after Congress refused to grant him the $5.7 billion he’d requested for the wall, appropriating only $1.375 billion for non-wall border-security measures.