Progressives Welcome Biden’s $2 Trillion Green Energy Plan
U.S. environmental and climate activists on Tuesday welcomed presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s “Plan to Build a Modern, Sustainable Infrastructure and an Equitable Clean Energy Future”—a proposal that is notably bolder than what he called for earlier in the primary.
“Biden will make a $2 trillion accelerated investment, with a plan to deploy those resources over his first term, setting us on an irreversible course to meet the ambitious climate progress that science demands,” his campaign website says, detailing related polices on agriculture, the automobile industry, buildings, electricity, environmental justice, housing, infrastructure, public transportation.
The plan calls for creating a million new jobs in the American auto industry, shifting to a power sector free from carbon pollution by 2035, and upgrading four million buildings and weatherizing two million homes over four years. Those building upgrades would create more jobs, as would the construction of 1.5 million sustainable homes and initiatives in “climate-smart agriculture, resilience, and conservation.”
The New York Times reported that “in a call with reporters on Tuesday morning, senior Biden campaign officials said the proposal was the product of discussions with scientists, climate and environmental justice leaders, union members and leaders, mayors and governors, and representatives from the small-business and manufacturing communities.”
In response to reporting on the proposal ahead of its official unveiling Tuesday, meteorologist and climate correspondent Eric Holthaus tweeted: “Wow. And wow in a good way.” Julian Brave NoiseCat, vice president of policy and strategy at Data for Progress, acknowledged the plan’s overlap with the Green New Deal.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a former challenger in the Democratic presidential primary race who ran with the climate crisis as his top priority and endorsed Biden in April, praised the proposal in a series of tweets Tuesday, saying that it “shows that he’s serious about defeating climate change, and has a roadmap to become the climate president that America needs.”
Evergreen Action, which is led by some former Inslee staffers, also welcomed the plan. In a Tuesday Medium post, Sam Ricketts, the group’s co-founder, highlighted that Biden’s proposal calls for major investments in a clean power-led economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic; includes enforceable, sector-specific benchmarks for a rapid transition to 100% renewable energy; and aims to hold polluters accountable for environmental injustice.
In a speech about his proposal Tuesday, Biden drew clear contrasts between himself and President Donald Trump. Climate reporter Emily Atkin, who tweeted some of his remarks, observed that “Biden’s strategy here is to frame Trump’s climate denial as costing America tons of money and jobs. And, to frame his climate plan as an economically exciting, job-heavy solution.”
"When Donald Trump thinks of climate change, the only word he can think of is 'hoax,'" @JoeBiden says.
"The word I think of is 'jobs.'"
— Emily Atkin (@emorwee) July 14, 2020