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Jay Inslee may have won the 2020 climate debate after all

If Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) held onto his doomed Democratic presidential campaign a tad longer, he would have had his chance to shine during Wednesday's CNN town hall on climate issues. Alas, Inslee bowed out of the race earlier this month, but his legacy lives on in the form of other presidential candidates' environmental plans.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) fully embraced Inslee's 10-year plan to decarbonize electricity, cars, and buildings, praising the governor for providing "bold, thoughtful, and detailed ideas for how to get us where we need to go." Meanwhile, former Housing Secretary Julián Castro reportedly relied on input from Inslee's team while creating his own environmental agenda that was released Tuesday. That's not too surprising considering Castro wished Inslee a fond farewell over Twitter when the governor dropped out of the race, specifically thanking him for bringing climate issues to the forefront of the primaries. And then there's Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), who referenced Inslee in a section of her climate policy plan — which was unveiled Wednesday — that outlined a climate pollution fee.

Don't fret, though. Inslee is seemingly more than cool with other candidates' borrowing his ideas. In fact, it appears that was part of his inspiration for joining the primaries in the first place. Upon his departure, Inslee said he hoped his competition adopted his "open source" plan and used it "as a template" going forward in the race. Mission accomplished. Tim O'Donnell