Washington Governor Jay Inslee released a $9 trillion plan to fight global warming Thursday, upping the ante on Democratic presidential candidates.
“You think of the Green New Deal as saying ‘we should go to the moon,’ but in my plan is how to build the rocket ship,” Inslee told The Guardian. “They both have their values.”
Inslee’s plan aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions, ramp up renewable energy and infrastructure and create 8 million jobs over 10 years. The plan calls for $300 billion a year in federal spending to leverage an additional $600 billion a year — for a total of $9 trillion.
This is Inslee’s second policy plan to fight climate change as part of his “Climate Mission” to achieve net-zero emissions before 2045. In early May, Inslee unveiled a plan to green the electric grid and buildings and mandate electric vehicles.
“We are working toward a definite goal, which is to prevent the return of conditions which came very close to destroying what we call modern civilization,” Inslee told The Guardian, quoting President Franklin Roosevelt.
Inslee’s plan is only the latest in a crowded Democratic field where candidates are trying to make headlines. Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke pitched a $5 trillion climate change plan to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, getting halfway there by 2030 through a “legally enforceable standard,” according to the plan’s summary. Environmentalists attacked O’Rourke’s plan for not being aggressive enough.
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren has also put forward climate change policies for public lands and the military, though there’s no explicit price tag for either. However, Warren framed those policies as in line with the Green New Deal.
The Green New Deal, championed by New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, calls for achieving net-zero emissions within 10 years and vastly expanding the welfare state. Obviously, it’s hard to put a price tag on broad policy goals, but adding up the individual goals yields a price tag upwards of $93 trillion over a decade.
That cost estimate came from a report by the right-leaning American Action Forum (AAF). AAF put out a second report digging into the Green New Deal’s individual goals, estimating decarbonizing the grid alone could cost more than $5 trillion over 10 years.
Warren isn’t the only presidential candidate backing the Green New Deal. Senators Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Kamala Harris of California, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Cory Booker of New Jersey also endorse the plan.
Democrats running for president in 2020 initially joined the Green New Deal hype amid pressure from far-left environmentalists to make climate change a top election issue.
However, the Democratic front-runner, former Vice President Joe Biden, has not endorsed the Green New Deal, and reportedly wants a “middle ground” approach to fighting global warming.
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