Joe Biden’s campaign is proposing a plan to spend $2 trillion on clean-energy initiatives over a four-year span.
“I want to make sure we put down such a marker that it’s impossible for the next president to turn it around,” the presumptive Democratic nominee for president said at a fundraiser on Monday, according to The Washington Post. The trillions would be spent in a variety of ways, from electrifying public transit to weatherizing buildings to giving rebates for the purchase of more energy-efficient appliances and cars. Many of Biden’s plans come from the recommendations of a task force created by Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who also made a bid for the Democratic nomination this year.
The plan is still light on details, but we’ll update this article as the Biden campaign releases more information.
Homes and buildings
Part of Biden’s plan will focus on retrofitting existing buildings and homes to be more energy-efficient. This includes upgrading and weatherizing the structures, and providing rebates for homeowners who buy more efficient appliances and windows.
Energy-saving appliances are not only environmentally friendly, they save renters and homeowners money. The Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program has helped push appliance makers to make ever-more-efficient products. In 2017, the Trump administration planned to eliminate the program due to budget cuts. Part of Biden’s earlier climate plan included more aggressive appliance- and building-efficiency standards.
Biden’s original climate plan was to spend $1.7 trillion over 10 years to reach net-zero emissions from electricity plants before 2050. The new proposal sets the target date for 100% clean energy sector at 2035. Meeting that goal would require installing more solar panels and wind turbines, as well as reliance on existing nuclear power, according to Biden’s campaign.
Biden will also support research into carbon-capture technology. While some see this type of technology as promising — it often involves extracting carbon dioxide from the air and storing it underground — some say it’s not yet at a stage to make a discernible impact on the changing climate.
Vehicles contribute significantly to U.S. air pollution. Under Biden’s plan, buses built in the U.S. would emit zero greenhouse gases by 2030, and older diesel-powered versions would be converted as well. To support more electric vehicles, he plans to build 500,000 EV charging stations. Biden is also endorsing a bill from Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-New York) that provides funding for people who want to trade older models for electric or low-emissions cars.
To see Biden’s proposed climate plan in full, you can head to his campaign website’s dedicated clean energy page
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