Monday July 6th, 2020 6:30PM

Democrats propose spending trillions fighting climate change

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — Five Democratic presidential candidates in the span of 24 hours have released sweeping plans to address climate change, ahead of a series of town halls devoted to the issue.

On Wednesday, California Sen. Kamala Harris and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg each unveiled their climate plans. New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former Obama cabinet member Julián Castro each laid out theirs on Tuesday.

The flurry of plans comes ahead of a CNN town hall event on global warming, which 10 Democrats seeking the White House plan to attend. The forums come after liberals had demanded that the Democratic Party focus at least one debate on climate change, but a climate debate resolution was defeated at the Democratic National Committee's summer meeting last month.

Many Democrats see climate change as an urgent crisis. The issue is so urgent among Democratic voters that Washington Gov. Jay Inslee made action to limit the worst extremes of climate change the core of his presidential bid. But Inslee dropped out of the presidential race in August after failing to earn a spot in the September primary debate. Inslee would not have been invited to Wednesday's climate change forum, either, having fallen short of the polling criteria. Since he abandoned his presidential bid, a number of candidates including Harris and Warren have embraced parts of the agenda he championed.

Harris is embracing a "climate pollution fee," designed to drive down pollution while increasing government revenue. Her $10 trillion plan includes proposals supported by her Democratic rivals. She calls on the United States to achieve a clean economy by 2045 and to reach the goal of 100% carbon-neutral electricity by 2030. She says she will end fossil fuel production on public lands and end federal subsidies for fossil fuels.

Harris also calls for the passage of the Climate Equity Act, a bill she introduced with New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, which would require Congress to measure how potential environmental legislation would impact poorer communities.

Warren's plan, which she released on Tuesday night, embraces the 10-year clean energy plan that Inslee ran on. Warren said Inslee's ideas "should remain at the center of the agenda," and she met with him in Seattle when she visited Washington state for a rally before Labor Day, according to two people familiar with the meeting who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a private meeting.

She says she will increase her planned spending on research and investment to cut carbon emissions to $3 trillion. She embraces tough deadlines for sharply cutting or eliminating the use of fossil fuels by the U.S. electrical grid, highways and air transit systems and by cities and towns. That includes making sure that new cars, buses and many trucks run on clean energy — instead of gasoline or diesel — by 2030 and that all the country's electricity comes from solar, wind and other renewable, carbon-free sources by 2035.

Buttigieg's $1.1 trillion climate change plan has a goal of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 and creating more than 3 million clean infrastructure jobs in the next decade. Like other Democrats, Buttigieg would renew the country's commitment to the Paris climate agreement. He is calling for ending subsidies to the fossil fuel industry and closing public lands to new fossil leases. He also is calling for enacting an economy-wide price on carbon, set to automatically increase each year, as well as more investment in carbon capture techniques.

Booker's $3 trillion plan calls for getting the U.S. economy to carbon neutral no later than 2045. He also is calling for the creation of a "United States Environmental Justice Fund," which, among its areas of focus, would replace all home, school and day care drinking water lines by the end of his second term.

Castro's $10 trillion plan aims to have all electricity in the United States be clean and renewable by 2035. He wants to achieve net-zero emissions by 2045 and at least a 50% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. And, like Booker, he focuses on environmental racism, in which people of color are disproportionately affected by environmental hazards.

Among Democrats seeking the presidency, there is little disagreement that climate change is a building disaster. Wednesday's town halls will give candidates an opportunity to show the distinctions between their plans as the Democratic party's base increasingly demands aggressive action.

Nationally, 72% of Democratic midterm voters said they were very concerned about the effects of climate change, and 20% were somewhat concerned. That's according to AP VoteCast, a survey of more than 115,000 midterm voters nationwide.

Last month, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders released his $16 trillion plan to fight global warming, the costliest among the Democratic field. His plan, which he is calling The Green New Deal, declares climate change a national emergency, calls for the United States to eliminate fossil fuel use by 2050 and commits $200 billion to help poorer nations reckon with climate change.

Former Vice President Joe Biden has proposed $1.7 trillion in spending over 10 years, on clean energy and other initiatives with the goal of eliminating the country's net carbon emissions by 2050. Some liberals have criticized Biden for not being aggressive enough in confronting a growing crisis.

The relatively minor differences among Democrats on climate change come in sharp contrast to President Donald Trump, who has dismissed and mocked the science of climate change and has reversed course on U.S. climate policy. Trump made pulling the country out of the Paris climate accord one of his administration's first priorities, and his wholehearted support of the petroleum and coal industries has been one of the enduring themes of his presidency.


Associated Press writer Michelle L. Price in Las Vegas contributed to this report.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Elections, General Election News, General Presidential Election News, AP Business, AP Elections - Political Conventions, AP Business - Economy, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Utilities
© Copyright 2020
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Democrats propose spending trillions fighting climate change
Democrats are releasing plans to fight climate change ahead of town halls on the issue, a sharp contrast to Trump's dismissal of climate science
6:42AM ( 13 minutes ago )
Judge to discuss unsealing new trove of Epstein court papers
A judge is expected to discuss plans for the unsealing of more court records in a civil case involving sexual abuse claims against the financier Jeffrey Epstein
6:27AM ( 27 minutes ago )
HK stocks surge on withdrawal of law that sparked protests
Hong Kong stocks surge as government withdraws extradition law that sparked 3 months of protests
6:23AM ( 31 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Defiant UK lawmakers move to bar 'no deal' Brexit
With Britain's prime minister weakened by a major defeat in Parliament, defiant lawmakers move to bar Boris Johnson from pursuing a "no-deal" departure from the EU.
6:08AM ( 47 minutes ago )
The Latest: Scottish court says Johnson can suspend Parl't
A Scottish court says British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's planned suspension of Parliament is lawful
5:39AM ( 1 hour ago )
Pentagon sidelines 127 building projects to fund border wall
127 military construction projects are being sidelined by a Pentagon decision to shift $3.6 billion to build part of Trump's border wall
3:15AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Major defeat for British PM as lawmakers seize Brexit agenda
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson suffers big defeat in Parliament as rebels seize control of Brexit agenda.
8:38PM ( 10 hours ago )
California advances crackdown on bogus vaccine exemptions
California's state Assembly has approved legislation designed to crack down on doctors who sell fraudulent medical exemptions for vaccinations
8:27PM ( 10 hours ago )
Pentagon Oks military construction cash to build border wall
Defense Secretary Mark Esper has approved the use of $3.6 billion in funding from military construction projects to build 175 miles of President Donald Trump's wall along the Mexican border
7:13PM ( 11 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
California city experiments with universal basic income
One of the most expensive presidential proposals, giving people money for a basic income, is getting a trial run in California
8:30PM ( 10 hours ago )
Democrats release climate plans ahead of town hall spotlight
Democratic presidential candidates are releasing their plans to address climate change ahead of a series of town halls on the topic
8:14PM ( 10 hours ago )
Tunisian court refuses to free jailed presidential candidate
A Tunisian court has refused to free jailed presidential candidate Nabil Karoui from prison so that he can campaign for the Sept. 15 election
4:00PM ( 14 hours ago )
AP Elections
The Latest: Brexit: Boris Johnson doesn't want election
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says he doesn't want an election and has urged legislators not to undercut Britain's negotiating position with the European Union
1:20PM ( 1 day ago )
The Latest: Brexit: Boris Johnson's opponents publish plan
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's opponents plan to take the U.K. out of the European Union on Oct. 31 with or without a deal have published draft legislation designed to prevent it
12:56PM ( 1 day ago )
The Latest: Brexit: UK prime minister chairs Cabinet meeting
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has summoned his senior ministers to his Downing Street office on eve of a key effort in Parliament to delay a no-deal Brexit
12:47PM ( 1 day ago )
General Election News
Tunisia kicks off presidential campaign amid tensions
Tunisia's 26 presidential candidates have launched their campaigns in a political climate marked by uncertainty, corruption allegations and worries about violent extremism
11:16AM ( 1 day ago )
Tunisian security chief, 3 extremists killed in shootout
Authorities in Tunisia say a national guard chief and three extremists have been killed in a clash near the Algerian border on the first day of the country's presidential campaign
10:29AM ( 1 day ago )
Jailed tycoon among Tunisia's 26 presidential candidates
A jailed media magnate is among the 26 candidates who are running in Tunisia's presidential election next month, which will be a crucial test for the North African nation's young democracy
4:44PM ( 3 days ago )
General Presidential Election News
France's Macron to launch controversial pension overhaul
French President Emmanuel Macron is holding a special government meeting to outline his domestic agenda for the coming year, including a controversial overhaul of the pension system
5:49AM ( 1 hour ago )
Hong Kong government meet amid bill withdrawal rumors
Hong Kong's government has met amid speculation that leader Carrie Lam will formally withdraw an extradition bill as protesters have demanded
5:48AM ( 1 hour ago )
Nominee to head European Central Bank defends stimulus
The nominee to succeed Mario Draghi as head of the European Central Bank has defended the bank's record low interest rates and extraordinary stimulus measures deployed in the wake of the Great Recession and eurozone debt crisis
5:30AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
Mississippi getting set for hard-fought governor's race
Candidates are gearing up for a Mississippi's governor's race that could be the state's toughest one in 16 years
5:42PM ( 6 days ago )
Biden: Racism in US is institutional, 'white man's problem'
Biden: Racism in the US is institutional, a 'white man's problem visited on people of color'
5:52AM ( 1 week ago )
Limits on sales of African elephants to zoos gain approval
Countries that are part of an international agreement on trade in endangered species agreed Tuesday to limit the sale of wild elephants caught in Zimbabwe and Botswana, delighting conservationists but dismaying some of the African countries involved
5:25PM ( 1 week ago )
AP Elections - Political Conventions
Justin Bieber opens up about his steep fall from grace
Justin Bieber is opening up about a string of "bad decisions" that led him to go from being a beloved teen performer to "the most ridiculed, judged and hated person in the world."
9:01PM ( 9 hours ago )
Floridians hope Dorian's economic impact will be temporary
With Hurricane Dorian weakening and expected turn to the north, that should spare Florida from the kind of economic damage seen from previous storms
6:40PM ( 12 hours ago )
US factories shrink for 1st time in 3 years amid trade war
US manufacturing shrinks for first time in 3 years amid trade war, global slowdown
4:31PM ( 14 hours ago )
AP Business - Economy
West Texas shooting brings 2 intertwined cities even closer
The mass shooting in West Texas spread terror over more than 10 miles (16 kilometers) as the gunman fired from behind the wheel of a car
7:07PM ( 11 hours ago )
Texas shooter got gun at private sale; denied in 2014 check
A law enforcement official says a gunman who killed seven people in West Texas had obtained his AR-style rifle through a private sale, evading a federal background check that previously denied him a gun for a "mental health issue."
6:35PM ( 12 hours ago )
AP source: Texas shooter purchased rifle at private sale
A law enforcement official says a gunman who killed seven people in West Texas had obtained his AR-style rifle through a private sale, evading a federal background check
4:46PM ( 14 hours ago )
AP Business - Industries
Hong Kong students, workers strike as commutes disrupted
High school students in Hong Kong have added gas masks, goggles and hard hats to their formal white uniforms as they joined a strike on the first day of school to show their commitment to the city's fiery anti-government protest movement
6:14AM ( 2 days ago )
Hong Kong students plan to strike as commutes disrupted
Hong Kong students added gas masks, goggles and hard hats to their school uniforms as they planned a strike to show their commitment to a fiery anti-government protest movement
2:48AM ( 2 days ago )
Police unsure why man went on shooting binge in West Texas
Authorities said Sunday they still could not explain why a man opened fire during a routine traffic stop in West Texas to begin a terrifying rampage that killed seven people
12:00AM ( 2 days ago )
AP Business - Utilities
Judge to discuss unsealing new trove of Epstein court papers
A judge is expected to discuss plans for the unsealing of more court records in a civil case involving sexual abuse claims against the financier Jeffrey Epstein
6:27AM ( 28 minutes ago )
HK stocks surge on withdrawal of law that sparked protests
Hong Kong stocks surge as government withdraws extradition law that sparked 3 months of protests
6:23AM ( 32 minutes ago )
Democrats propose spending trillions to fight climate change
Democrats releasing plans to battle climate change ahead of town halls on the issue, a sharp contrast to Trump's dismissal of climate science
6:23AM ( 32 minutes ago )
The Latest: Hong Kong leader withdraws extradition bill
Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam has announced the government will formally withdraw an extradition bill that has sparked months of demonstrations in the city, bowing to one of the protesters' demands
6:18AM ( 37 minutes ago )
Family, teenagers among 34 presumed dead in boat fire
A family of five along with high schoolers, an adventurous marine biologist and a science teacher are among those believed lost in the fiery sinking of a scuba boat off the Southern California coast
6:16AM ( 40 minutes ago )