Martin O’Malley, the greenest candidate to ever throw his hat in the ring to be president of the United States, has decided to call it quits after coming in a distant third in the Iowa Democratic primary. O’Malley has had a distinguished political career and he will surely continue to meaningfully contribute to ongoing discussions about climate and other issues.
Prior to running for the Democratic presidential nomination, O’Malley was the 61st Governor of Maryland from 2007 to 2015. Before being elected as governor, he served as the Mayor of Baltimore from 1999 to 2007 and was a Baltimore City Councilor from 1991 to 1999.
Although he only received 1 percent of the vote in the Iowa primary, he has helped to raise the profile of climate action and make the subject an important campaign issue for Democrats. Even if the subject is largely ignored by Hilary and avoided altogether by Republicans, Bernie Sanders green policy positions received more attention thanks to O’Malley’s participation. Sanders now stands as the best remaining candidate on the climate issue.
History will prove that O’Malley was right. Going forward it will become increasingly difficult to avoid the facts that O’Malley brought to the table. In fact, some have predicted that climate denial will soon amount to political suicide. Republicans may not have heard the clarion call, but the truth can only be subverted for so long. Thanks to campaigns like that of Mr. O’Malley, it is only a matter of time before the GOP realizes that they have painted themselves into a corner on climate change.
Throughout his campaign O’Malley distinguished himself as a forward thinking leader on the issues of climate and the environment. Unlike most other presidential candidates he has made a compelling case for the business opportunities and the economic benefits associated with combating climate change.
His positions on climate action ranging from 100 percent clean energy to the importance of greenhouse gas reductions are a model. With the exception of his support for fracking he has a stellar campaign platform that includes support for fossil fuel divestment and opposition to offshore drilling, the Keystone XL, fossil fuel extraction on public lands. He has elevated the process and distinguished himself with his pledge to refuse fossil fuel industry contributions.
One day O’Malley’s climate focused policy positions will be the norm, until then he can say that he was the first and he set the bar high.
Thank you Mr. O’Malley, the nation owes you a debt of gratitude for your stalwart climate leadership.