How Elizabeth Warren would address climate change
Warren’s plan praises the proposals pushed by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who had built his presidential campaign around climate change but dropped out of the race last month after failing to attract national support. Her proposal lands the same day as a CNN town hall where ten leading Democratic contenders, including Warren, will describe their plans for combating the problem.
What would the plan do?
Warren’s plan joins her Green Manufacturing plan, land use plan, green military plan and her Green Apollo clean energy research plan, as part of a multi-pronged approach to climate change. It would target eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from buildings, vehicles and the electric grid while creating millions of new jobs in manufacturing and clean energy.
How would it work?
Among the goals set out in Warren’s plan are: 100 percent zero-carbon pollution from new commercial and residential buildings by 2028; 100 percent zero emissions standards for all new cars, buses and light- and medium-duty trucks by 2030; and 100 percent zero-emission energy in electric generation by 2035.
She plans to expand DOE’s loan guarantee program and the Rural Utilities Service to accelerate the transition to clean energy, and she wants to expand interstate and regional coordination on the electric grid.
Warren also included a labor component to her plan, promising to help workers move from high-paying union jobs in fossil fuel industries, like refining and coal mining, into green jobs retrofitting buildings and installing clean energy. She pledged that the jobs will be unionized with benefits and pay scales.
The plan also called for moving cars and buses to electricity, and aiming to transform the aviation, rail and maritime sectors, largely by prioritizing research into how to clean up these high-emissions activities.
How much would it cost?
$3 trillion, including an additional $1 trillion over 10 years proposed Tuesday to speed the transition to emissions-free vehicles, buildings and electricity.
How would she pay for it?
Reversing tax reductions on the wealthy and corporations enacted by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
Who would it help?
The plan aims to help workers in fossil fuel industries who would likely need new jobs in clean energy sectors, and it would help developers of renewable energy, along with electric utilities who would have to supply energy to the electrified nation.
Who would oppose it?
Republicans have generally opposed any climate action plan that sets particular emissions targets, and it might run into problems from more moderate members of Warren’s own party who represent fossil fuel producing areas.
What have other Democrats proposed?
Former Vice President Joe Biden proposed spending $1.7 trillion over 10 years to leverage $5 trillion in private, state and local investments into clean energy, while Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) called for spending $16.3 trillion over the next decade to move the U.S. to a clean economy.
Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) proposed a $3 trillion plan to tackle climate change with an emphasis on investing in disadvantaged communities, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) proposed massive spending to get to 100 percent clean energy by 2050, with an emphasis on how the heartland can contribute.
Entrepreneur Andrew Yang would focus on technological innovation while using federal dollars to help the communities most at risk, and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke unveiled his vision for the government and private sector to spend $5 trillion over 10 years on clean energy infrastructure.
Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo) would also spend $1 trillion to move the U.S. to 100 percent clean energy by 2050. Billionaire Tom Steyer has proposed a “justice centered” climate plan.