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Here's Joe Biden's $5T 'Big Idea' on Climate

He says it will get us to net zero emissions by 2050
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 4, 2019 11:05 AM CDT

(Newser) – Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is pitching a $5 trillion-plus climate proposal that he says would lead the US to net zero emissions of carbon pollution by 2050, the AP reports. Biden's plan calls for $1.7 trillion in federal spending over 10 years, with the rest of the investments coming from the private sector. Biden, who discusses the plan in a video posted online, proposes covering the taxpayer costs by repealing the corporate tax cuts that President Trump signed in 2017, while eliminating existing subsidies to the fossil fuel industry. "Science tells us that how we act or fail to act in the next 12 years will determine the very livability of our planet," Biden said in a statement ahead of the plan's unveiling Tuesday. "That's why I'm calling for a clean energy revolution to confront this crisis and do what America does best—solve big problems with big ideas."

Biden, who announced his candidacy in April and is the clear leader in recent national and early-state primary polls, is offering his climate plan as some of his rivals suggest the 76-year-old former vice president isn't bold enough. Biden's outline tracks some ideas of the Green New Deal pushed by many Democrats in Washington, though Biden isn't as aggressive in his timeline for curbing emissions. Biden's outline is similar in size and scope to what former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke has proposed; it falls short of Washington Gov. Jay Inslee's pitch for $3 trillion in federal spending over a decade, which Inslee says will spur $6 trillion more in private investment. The plan has a dual focus on coal towns and nonwhite communities that reflects political lessons from Democrats' 2016 loss. (Much more on the plan here, including a massive expansion for the nation's railways.)

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