Biden unveils $2 trillion clean energy and infrastructure plan
Joe Biden expanded his energy and climate plans Tuesday with a call for spending $2 trillion over four years on climate-friendly infrastructure — a proposal the campaign is casting as part of a wider economic recovery package.
The latest: "Look, these aren’t pie in the sky dreams," Biden said in a speech outlining the proposal on Tuesday. "These are actionable policies that we can work on right away."
- "We can live up to our responsibilities, meet the challenges of a world at risk of a climate catastrophe, build more climate-resilient communities, put millions of skilled workers on the job, and make life markedly better and safer for the American people all at once and benefit the world in the process," he continued.
- "The alternative? Continue to ignore the facts, deny reality, focus only on technologies of the last century, instead of inventing the technology that will define this century. ... This is all that Donald Trump and the Republicans offer."
Why it matters: The plan represents a long-anticipated plan to move his climate platform further left and make it more expansive.
How it works: The spending is part of wider infrastructure and environmental justice plans the campaign released. Some of the major provisions of the new proposals include ...
- An "accelerated" $2 trillion, first-term investment in carbon-free power and grid infrastructure, mass transit, efficient buildings, sustainable housing, "climate-smart" agriculture and more.
- Part of the investment includes Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer's proposal to give big discounts to consumers who trade in gasoline-powered cars for U.S.-made electric models, and building or re-tooling manufacturing plants to focus on electric vehicles and battery technologies.
- A standard requiring 100% carbon-free power generation by 2035, which was among the proposals last week from a task force that representatives for both Biden and former rival Bernie Sanders set up.
- Creating a new "Environmental and Climate Justice Division" within the Department of Justice.
- Bloomberg first reported on several of the new proposals.
The big picture: The spending is more aggressive than Biden's climate and energy plan unveiled before the coronavirus pandemic, which called for $1.7 trillion in federal investments over 10 years.
- Campaign officials told reporters that some of new plan would be paid for with Biden's call for raising taxes on corporations and the rich, but also "some amount of stimulus spending."
- They pledged to provide more details on financing once Biden's full economic recovery plans are laid out in the coming weeks.
Reality check: Some of the big new energy policy and spending proposals, like several pillars of Biden's existing plan, would require congressional approval.
- That makes them unlikely to go far unless Democrats also regain control of the Senate.
- And even then, major energy and climate bills will face big political hurdles unless Democrats scrap or weaken filibuster rules.
Editor's note: This post has been updated with additional details after the plan's release and Biden's speech.