By Shawn Raymundo

Rep. Mike Levin, D-CA, met with dozens of constituents in San Clemente on Wednesday, May 29, as part of his ongoing series to sit down with residents over cups of coffee.

Holding his latest “Coffee with your Congressman” event at Café Calypso, Levin, who represents California’s 49th Congressional District, encompassing a stretch of cities from San Juan Capistrano and Dana Point to Carlsbad and Del Mar, answered a range of questions regarding his policies in office.

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Andrew Schorr, a Carlsbad resident and the co-founder of Patient Power, an online resource for cancer information, said he wanted to speak with Levin about healthcare issues and drug costs. Schorr gushed over the freshman congressman’s monthly event, expressing appreciation for Levin being available to district residents.

While much of the discussion among guests remained cordial, one conversation turned testy when San Clemente resident Jim Bieber grilled Levin over his support for the “Green New Deal,” the resolution House Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY, introduced to address climate change.

Bieber said Levin wouldn’t respond to his questions when he asked “how much (the Green New Deal) would cost” and “if the gasoline engine had not been invented, what would the temperature (of the planet) be?”

Levin responded by telling Bieber he wasn’t interested in having a combative discussion. Later, Levin did explain his position on the U.S. investing in clean energy technologies while addressing a question on what the sustainable population of Earth should be—a question from Carlsbad resident Gregg Ferry, who was sitting next to Bieber during the previous exchange.

“Either we will lead on this issue or we will follow,” Levin said, noting that “a suite of new technologies” is bound to change the way the U.S. consumes energy and moves goods.

“It’s going to require a lot of innovation,” Levin said, continuing the thought. “The question is whether we’re going to take the steps necessary to innovate in this country, to lead in this new industrial revolution, which I would argue is the greatest wealth creation opportunity that we have currently.”


SR_1Shawn Raymundo
Shawn Raymundo is the city editor for The Capistrano Dispatch. He graduated from Arizona State University with a bachelor’s degree in Global Studies. Before joining Picket Fence Media, he worked as the government accountability reporter for the Pacific Daily News in the U.S. territory of Guam. Follow him on Twitter @ShawnzyTsunami and follow The Dispatch @CapoDispatch.

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comments (5)

  • Levin’s a smart guy, which is why I was disappointed when he took a charter jet with other Democrats to Puerto Rico during a partial government shut down. There or sometime soon after he went all in for the “Green New Deal”, How can you be taken seriously about climate change while chartering a jet to PR?

    Since then even AOC has tweeted that the Green New Deal shouldn’t be taken seriously, and (of course) not a single senator voted for it when brought to the floor.

    Mr. Levin, I like that you’re working on getting rid of the nuke waste at Camp Pendleton. PLEASE show that you’re capable of reaching across the aisle when it comes to our safety by helping to get Yucca Mountain waste site operational. We are one earthquake / tsunami / terror attack away from San Clemente becoming a ghost town.

  • What an outrageous and unfair question that Bieber guy asked!!! How dare he ask how much a program his Congressman supports might cost!!! So inappropriate. And totally disrespectful! Doesn’t he know his Congressman knows better than him?

  • What an outrageous and unfair question Bieber asked! How dare he wonder how much the Green New Deal his Congressman supports might cost! It’s this sort of disrespect of our superiors (Members of Congress) that has led to the degrading of society. Clearly Levin doesn’t need to trifle with questions about costs, when he has a world to save!

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