Tom Steyer: Power Disruptor?

Would you vote for the candidate who says he’ll declare climate change a national emergency on Day One of his presidency? Businessman and activist Tom Steyer says his willingness to use emergency powers to deal with the climate crisis sets him apart from the crowded field of Democratic candidates. “You have to start on day one, urgently – it's an emergency, treat it like an emergency,” Steyer urges. “I would give the Congress a 100 days … to pass something like the Green New Deal, but they've had 28 years to pass something like the Green New Deal, and actually we don't have the luxury of waiting any longer.” Steyer also cites his record fighting the corporate takeover of the US government as another mark of distinction. “I am the person who spent 10 years as an outsider organizing coalitions of American citizens to take on corporate interests and to register voters engage voters and turn them out at the polls,” he notes, while also affirming that his grassroots organizing will continue independently of his campaign and the election. But as the Democratic Party moves to the left, with a more diverse candidate pool than ever, is now the right time for another wealthy white man to insist he’s the best person for the job? “I think there's a very simple challenge for everybody who wants to be the Democratic nominee,” says Steyer,” and that’s to have something to say that people want to hear ... I think that if I'm saying something that touches people and they believe that I'm a credible messenger, then they'll respond.” Guest: Tom Steyer, Activist, Businessman, 2020 Democratic Presidential Candidate This program was recorded at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on August 19, 2019. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

by Climate One