President Joe Biden made the case in Pittsburgh on Wednesday for his ‘once-in-a-generation’ investment plan to address the climate crisis, alleviate societal and racial inequities, and remake American capitalism. Spurred on by the overwhelming scientific consensus and unprecedented political demand for taking action to stem the tide of climate change, Biden outlined the more-than-$2 trillion American Jobs Plan, which includes major investments to expand EV adoption, electrify and weatherize buildings, employ fossil fuel workers to clean up orphaned oil and gas wells and abandoned mines, improve the resiliency of the nation’s grid and infrastructure to climate change-fueled disasters, and establish a national energy efficiency and clean energy standard.
Biden’s proposal faces a difficult road to fruition, with Republicans, the fossil fuel industry, and those groups’ allies already attacking the proposal over its cost and the rollback of Trump’s corporate tax cuts to pay for it. Biden will also seek to assuage the concerns of many, especially those in organized labor, over the wellbeing of workers currently employed by the fossil fuel industry.
More needed to confront climate crisis
Despite the historic scope and ambition of Biden’s plan, many progressives, unions, and climate advocates are calling for more to meet the scale and urgency of the climate crisis. “This is not nearly enough. The important context here is that it’s $2.25T spread out over 10 years,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter. “For context, the COVID package was $1.9T for this year *alone,* with some provisions lasting 2 years.” Advocates pointed to the recently-introduced THRIVE Act, which would invest $1 trillion per year for ten years. “The truth,” Sunrise Movement spokesperson Ellen Sciales told BuzzFeed, “is [Biden’s Plan] does not meet the scale and the scope of what we need to meet the true scale and urgency of the climate crisis.”
(American Jobs Plan and rollout: Washington Post $, New York Times $, AP, Politico, The Hill, CNN, Reuters, The Guardian, Wall Street Journal $, Grist, CNN, The Guardian, Washington Post $; Historic scope and ambition: New York Times $; Political challenges: AP, Washington Post $, Bloomberg $, Reuters, Washington Post $, New York Times $, Politico Pro $, The Hill, Reuters; Environmental (in)justice: E&E $, CNBC; Well and mine cleanup: AP, CNN, E&E $; Not big enough: (Politico, Buzzfeed, Earther, Mother Jones; Commentary: Reuters, Howard Schneider analysis)