Bi­den un­veils cli­mate plan

Antelope Valley Press - - SECOND FRONT -

WILM­ING­TON, Del. (AP) — Joe Bi­den re­leased a $2 tril­lion plan Tues­day aimed at com­bat­ing cli­mate change and spurring eco­nomic growth in part by over­haul­ing Amer­ica’s en­ergy in­dus­try, with a pro­posal to achieve en­tirely car­bon pol­lu­tion-free power by 2035.

“These are the most crit­i­cal in­vest­ments we can make for the long-term health and vi­tal­ity of both the Amer­i­can econ­omy and the phys­i­cal health and safety of the Amer­i­can peo­ple,” Bi­den said dur­ing re­marks to re­porters near his home in Wilm­ing­ton, Delaware.

Bi­den ac­knowl­edged that the econ­omy is in “cri­sis” be­cause of the COVID-19 pan­demic, but said it of­fers “an in­cred­i­ble op­por­tu­nity, not just to build back to where we were be­fore, but bet­ter, stronger, more re­silient and more pre­pared for the chal­lenges that lie ahead.”

The plan marks his lat­est ef­fort to build out a leg­isla­tive agenda with mea­sures that could an­i­mate pro­gres­sives who may be skep­ti­cal of Bi­den, who waged a more cen­trist cam­paign dur­ing the Demo­cratic pri­mary.

It re­flects ideas em­braced by some of Bi­den’s more pro­gres­sive al­lies dur­ing the pri­mary, like Jay Inslee, whose cam­paign cen­tered on the is­sue of cli­mate change. But it doesn’t go as far as the Green New Deal, the sweep­ing pro­posal from pro­gres­sives in Congress that calls for achiev­ing net-zero green­house gas emis­sions across the econ­omy by 2030.

Bi­den’s plan does align with a cli­mate bill spear­headed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in re­duc­ing emis­sions to zero by 2050, how­ever. And it goes far­ther than that bill on achiev­ing a car­bon-neu­tral power sec­tor. House Democrats’ pro­posal sets a 2040 dead­line for that goal, while Bi­den’s aims to achieve it five years faster.

In the plan, Bi­den pledges to spend $2 tril­lion over four years to pro­mote his en­ergy pro­pos­als, a sig­nif­i­cant ac­cel­er­a­tion of the $1.7 tril­lion over 10 years he pro­posed spend­ing in his cli­mate plan dur­ing the pri­mary.

The pro­posal doesn’t in­clude specifics on how it would be paid for. Se­nior cam­paign of­fi­cials who spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity to dis­cuss strat­egy said it would re­quire a mix of tax in­creases on cor­po­ra­tions and the wealthy and deficit spend­ing aimed at stim­u­lat­ing the econ­omy.

Bi­den made no men­tion of ban­ning dirt­ier-burn­ing coal or pro­hibit­ing frack­ing, Bi­den’s new plan in­stead de­scribes eas­ing out burn­ing oil, gas and coal through more ef­fi­cient ve­hi­cles, pub­lic trans­port, build­ings and power plants.


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