Presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren has so far vowed to invest $1.5 trillion into the procurement of American-made clean energy products, $400 billion into their development and $100 billion toward supporting their exportation to other countries.
But ahead of Wednesday’s CNN’s 7-hour climate crisis town hall, the 2020 candidate and Massachusetts Democrat will announce she plans to invest an additional $1 trillion toward subsidizing the transition to clean and renewable electricity, paid for by reversing Trump’s tax cuts that benefited wealthy Americans and large corporations. Altogether, the announcement brings Warren’s total clean energy investment to $3 trillion.
Warren’s proposal estimates the United States would have 100% renewable and zero-emission energy in electricity generation by 2035, with an interim goal of 100% carbon-neutral power by 2030. The goalposts are very similar to those proposed by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a former 2020 candidate who based his campaign around fighting climate change.
“As a presidential candidate, my friend Gov. Jay Inslee challenged all Americans to confront the urgency of the climate crisis bearing down upon us,” Warren wrote in a Medium post anticipated to be published Tuesday night. “While his presidential campaign may be over, his ideas should remain at the center of the agenda.”
Like Inslee’s, Warren’s proposal has three main facets: perfecting 100% clean energy, clean vehicles and clean buildings.
In the first category, Warren recommends replacing the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission with a Federal Renewable Energy Commission, requiring federal agencies to achieve 100% clean energy in their domestic power purchases by 2024 and establishing new rules that “retire coal power within a decade.”
To make vehicles more eco-friendly, Warren says she’d set strict emissions standards that will get tighter each year, ensure every federal interstate highway rest-stop features fast-charging stations, and incentivize consumers to swap their fuel-inefficient cars with eco-friendly ones.
Lastly, Warren would try to make buildings more environmentally friendly by eliminating the use of fossil fuels in all new and renovated federal buildings by 2025, and incentivizing energy efficiency in commercial buildings and residential housing through tax credits, among other things.
She’s certainly not the only candidate to debut large spending packages devoted to countering climate change. Vermont Democrat Sen. Bernie Sanders recently released a $16 trillion climate change plan aiming for 100% renewable energy for electricity and transportation by 2030, and complete decarbonization by 2050. Meanwhile, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker just promised $3 trillion to transition to a 100% carbon-neutral economy by 2045, and former Vice President Joe Biden has promised a federal investment of $1.7 trillion, in hopes of achieving 100% clean energy economy and net-zero emissions by 2050.
Though some candidates — like Sen. Kamala Harris and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg — have not yet gotten into spending specifics for their respective climate change plans, they’ll each have an opportunity to do so during CNN’s climate town hall Wednesday night.
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