Elizabeth Warren Unveils Multi-Trillion Dollar Climate Change Plan Inspired by Jay Inslee

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 26: Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) questions Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell as he delivers the Federal Reserves Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Senate Banking Committee on February 26, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Joshua Roberts/Getty Images)
Joshua Roberts/Getty

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) unveiled her comprehensive climate change plan – inspired by Gov. Jay Inslee (D) – ahead of CNN’s seven-hour climate change town hall slated to take place Wednesday evening.

Warren openly embraced former Democrat candidate Gov. Inslee, who built his short-lived campaign almost entirely on the issue of climate change.

“@JayInslee provided bold, detailed ideas on how to confront climate change, and his ideas should remain at the center of the climate agenda,” Warren wrote.

“Today, I’m adopting and building upon his ten-year action plan to achieve 100% clean energy for America,” she announced:

Warren’s plan aims to decarbonize the economy and reach 100 percent clean energy over the next decade– a central goal of Inslee’s plan, which Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) called the “gold standard”:

As a presidential candidate, my friend Governor Jay Inslee challenged all Americans to confront the urgency of the climate crisis bearing down upon us. And Jay didn’t merely sound the alarm or make vague promises. He provided bold, thoughtful, and detailed ideas for how to get us where we need to go, both by raising standards to address pollution and investing in the future of the American economy. While his presidential campaign may be over, his ideas should remain at the center of the agenda.

One of the most important of these ideas is the urgent need to decarbonize key sectors of our economy. Today, I’m embracing that goal by committing to adopt and build on Governor Inslee’s ten-year action plan to achieve 100% clean energy for America by decarbonizing our electricity, our vehicles, and our buildings. And I’m challenging every other candidate for President to do the same.

Warren claimed the transportation and energy sector makes up roughly 70 percent of all U.S. carbon emissions, but she believes her Green Apollo plan, which calls for a $400 billion investment in research and development, will “spur innovation and help us to develop the technology we need to go the final mile.”

She also called for a $1.5 trillion investment in “federal procurement of American-made clean energy products” via her Green Manufacturing plan and another $100 billion “to support the export of American-made clean energy products” through her Green Marshall Plan.

She announced an additional $1 trillion “to match Governor Inslee’s commitment and to subsidize the economic transition to clean and renewable electricity, zero-emission vehicles, and green products for commercial and residential buildings.” She said she will pay for this by getting rid of the Trump administration’s tax cuts.

Overall, Warren’s plan calls for trillions in spending over the next decade in order to make her ten-year goal a reality:

All told, a federal investment of $3 trillion will leverage additional trillions in private investment and create millions of jobs. And we will achieve:

  • By 2028, 100% zero-carbon pollution for all new commercial and residential buildings;
  • By 2030, 100% zero emissions for all new light-duty passenger vehicles, medium-duty trucks, and all buses;
  • By 2035, 100% renewable and zero-emission energy in electricity generation, with an interim target of 100% carbon-neutral power by 2030.

Warren also tried to extinguish concerns from coal workers and others in the fossil fuel industry, promising  “early retirement benefits — job training, union protections, and benefits, and guaranteeing wage and benefit parity for affected workers,” according to her plan.

Warren’s broad climate change pitch pulled from many of her existing proposals, including her Clean Air and Water plan, Protecting Public Lands plan, Green Manufacturing plan, Clean Energy plan, Green Infrastructure plan, Sustainable Agriculture plan, and Tribal Lands plan.

“We must meet the urgency of the moment, and a comprehensive approach to addressing climate change would be a top priority in a Warren administration. But we won’t meet our emissions goals with a one-time, one-size-fits-all approach,” Warren’s Medium post reads.

“To really bend the curve on climate, we’ll need sustained big, structural change across a range of industries and sectors,” it continues.

“That’s why Elizabeth has woven climate policy throughout her plans, and why she’ll use all the levers of government to tackle the climate crisis,” it adds.

Warren sealed her pitch on Twitter, calling climate change an “existential crisis.”

“We need aggressive action—and we need it now,” Warren tweeted following her announcement. “Nothing less than a national, grassroots movement will be required. Together, we can make the big, structural change we need to tackle this crisis head-on”:

Warren’s plan rivals Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) who, by many measures, released the most aggressive climate change agenda of the Democrat field, calling for a $16.3 trillion Green New Deal.

Both candidates will participate in CNN’s climate change town hall Wednesday evening. Sanders is expected to speak with Anderson Cooper around 8:40 p.m. ET, and Warren is expected to speak with Chris Cuomo at 9:20 p.m. ET.

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