Sept. 5 (UPI) -- Several Democratic presidential candidates showed up to a town hall debate Wednesday night to push their plans to fight climate change, after most have unveiled costly proposals to try and scale back the phenomenon.
"You may remember Gov. Jay Inslee said, 'Let's get tough on this,'" said Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who's revealed a $3 trillion environmental proposal.
Some called for an outright ban on fracking for oil and natural gas.
"This is an existential threat to who we are," said California Sen. Kamala Harris.
Former Vice President Joe Biden said he does not support a fracking ban because he doesn't see it politically feasible. He did say he would end oil and gas drilling on federal lands and promised there would be "no empty chair" in his coalition to fight climate change -- a reference to President Donald Trump skipping a climate change meeting at the G7 summit in France last month.
Most of the candidates said they plan to return the United States to the Paris Climate Accords -- after Trump's withdrawal -- and tax carbon dioxide polluters.
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker argued nuclear power should be in the mix of energy alternatives to lessen climate change, saying he became a nuclear supporter after reading studies and talking to scientists about technological advancements.
South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg proposed upgrading the U.S. passenger rail system to lower carbon emissions.
"I'm not even asking for Japanese-level trains," he said. "Just give me like Italian-level trains."
Former Housing Secretary Julian Castro said he plans to fight "environmental racism" in ethnic minority communities by creating new civil rights legislation.
Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar said she would reverse the Trump administration's cutback on methane emission regulations, and former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke said federal money should be spent moving people from flood-prone areas to higher ground.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders touted his $16.3 trillion Green New Deal, saying it would be a chief priority in his administration.
"I have the radical idea that a sane Congress can walk and chew bubble gum at the same time," Sanders said. "To my mind, it's not prioritizing this over that. It is finally having a government which represents working families and the middle class, rather than wealthy campaign contributors."
Entrepreneur Andrew Yang said he would call for a new standard to measure economic success that includes environmental factors -- dismissing the traditional gross national product measure.