White House hopeful Joe Biden on Tuesday unveiled an ambitious, $2 trillion climate change plan that would revamp the US energy sector and seek to achieve carbon pollution-free power in just 15 years.
The clean energy proposal was fleshed out in a speech in Wilmington as the veteran Democrat aimed to draw a contrast with President Donald Trump ahead of November’s election by arguing that fighting climate change would be a massive job creator under a Biden administration.
Biden’s holistic proposals for climate change
Insisting that “there’s no more consequential challenge” today than climate change, Biden pledged to spend $2 trillion over four years to promote his plan, a dramatic acceleration of the $1.7 trillion he had proposed to spend over 10 years during the primary race.
“Transforming the American electrical sector to produce power without producing carbon pollution… will be the greatest spurring of job creation and economic competitiveness in the 21st century,” Biden said.
In remarks near his home in Wilmington, Delaware, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee sought to reframe the politics of climate change. He rebuffed arguments from President Donald Trump and his Republican allies that Democratic plans to invest in clean energy would cost jobs.
President Trump is once again coddling corporate polluters instead of fighting for the public’s health and clean air and clean water.https://t.co/SAVboaNCRt
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) July 15, 2020
“When Donald Trump thinks about climate change, the only word he can muster is ‘hoax,'” Biden told reporters. “When I think about climate change, what I think of is jobs.”
The climate package added to a series of detailed policy proposals Biden has released, including a $700 billion plan unveiled last week that would increase government purchasing of U.S.-based goods and invest in new research and development to frame a contrast with Trump, who has struggled to articulate a vision for a second term in the White House.
“That’s why we’re going to achieve a carbon pollution-free electric sector by the year 2035.”
Biden’s climate change plan entails more than just clean energy
The plan includes more ambitious goals than the climate proposal he rolled out months ago when he ran as one of the more moderate Democratic candidates in the party’s nomination race.
By embracing some of the ideas of his more liberal rivals at the time, including Senator Bernie Sanders and Washington Governor Jay Inslee, Biden appears intent on winning over progressive voters who might be wary of the former vice president and longtime Washington staple.
He also said he would rejoin the Paris climate agreement that Trump pulled the US out of in 2017, fund the construction of 1.5 million new energy efficient homes, upgrade appliance standards and prioritize renewable energy.
“We’re not just going to tinker around the edges,” Biden said.
“I know meeting the challenge will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to jolt new life into our economy.”
Biden said he would reverse some 100 steps taken by Trump to roll back environmental regulations.
He also reiterated parts of his earlier climate proposal, one with goals shared by House Democratic leaders including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, that would put the nation on the road to net zero emissions economy-wide no later than 2050.
Trump delivered a rebuttal hours later, accusing Biden of launching a “hard-left crusade against American energy” and pushing a platform “that would demolish the US economy.”
“He wants no oil and gas,” Trump said as he criticized Biden’s plan to reduce carbon emissions.
One week earlier Biden unveiled a unity platform that incorporated positions from leftist Sanders, but Trump attacked it as “the most extreme platform of any major party nominee, by far, in American history.”
Biden takes a jab at Trump for wearing a mask
Biden, who has refrained from campaigning publicly amid coronavirus outbreaks, attacked Trump on his failure to contain a pandemic which has killed 136,000 Americans, or to set the right example to citizens by wearing a mask, something he finally did on Saturday.
This pandemic has gotten bad enough that even Donald Trump finally decided to wear a mask in public.
I’m glad he made that shift — but it’s not enough.
We need real presidential leadership. Right now. pic.twitter.com/Gy4U1RrlYT
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) July 15, 2020
“It’s gotten bad enough that even Donald Trump finally decided to wear a mask in public,” Biden said.
“I’m glad he made the shift,” Biden added. “But Mr President, it’s not enough. We won’t be able to turn the corner and get the American people back to work safely without presidential leadership.”
Biden also savaged Trump and Republicans for lacking technological vision and peddling “backward-looking policies that will harm the environment” and hurt the economy.
Biden leads Trump on most issues, according to polling, but voters still see the president as stronger on steering the US economy.
AFP with additional input by GVS News Desk