Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is proposing to spend $2 trillion to fight climate change and cut carbon emissions from electric power to zero by the middle of the next decade.
The presumptive Democratic nominee says his climate plan released Tuesday would also be a job creation plan with a focus on updating the country’s infrastructure through energy-efficient buildings and electric cars.
"There's no more consequential challenge that we must meet in the next decade than the onrushing climate crisis. Left unchecked, it is literally an existential threat to the health of our planet and our very survival,” Biden said.
Biden’s plan includes incentives for the U.S. car industry to build electric-powered vehicles that are cleaner to run than cars that rely solely on gasoline.
API voices concerns
The American Petroleum Institute says the Biden climate plan could force the U.S. to look overseas for oil and energy sources, pointing out that many of those countries have lower environmental standards than the U.S.
“You can’t address the risks of climate change without America’s natural gas and oil industry,” API chief executive Mike Sommers said.
Biden's plan would also steer much of the job creation and clean-energy infrastructure spending toward underprivileged communities.
“When Donald Trump thinks about climate change, the only word he can muster is hoax. When I think about climate change, the word I think of is jobs,” Biden said.
Many liberal and progressive Democrats have expressed disappointment with what they believe has been Biden’s lack of urgency in talking about climate change.
Pandering to liberals?
Two Trump supporters — Republican congressmen Steve Scalise and Mike Kelly — say Biden is pandering to liberals and that the middle class will bear the brunt of the Biden plan through higher energy bills.
There has been no response to the Biden plan so far from the White House.
The Biden campaign said Tuesday his plan to fight climate change is part of what it calls his overall package to revive the U.S. economy, which has been stalled by the coronavirus.
Campaign officials say Biden has already promised to boost taxes on corporations and turn back Trump’s tax cuts for wealthy Americans.