By Paul Steinhauser
Published July 25, 2019
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is pledging that if elected to the White House, she’ll spend $10 trillion over the next 10 years in both taxpayer dollars and private funding to tackle climate change and implement the goals of the ‘Green New Deal.’
“We have seen catastrophic flooding across the Midwest, damaging wildfires in California, and hurricanes ravage communities in the South and Puerto Rico. Many people have lost their homes and loved ones because we’ve failed to act on climate change,” the senator from New York said in a Medium post Thursday morning.
“My plan lays out immediate and bold action to protect our communities and save our planet,” Gillibrand touted. “Not only would I enact the Green New Deal and protect clean air and clean water, but I will reinvest in the communities that have been most impacted by climate change and hold polluters accountable for the damage they’ve caused the American people.”
As part of her proposal, Gillibrand vows to bring the nation to net-zero carbon and greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2050.
To reach that goal, the senator calls for “100% clean, renewable, and zero-carbon electricity in a decade.”
And she would push for new standards for newly manufactured vehicles so as many as possible are zero-emission. Gillibrand also said she’d issue an executive order to end all new fossil fuel leases on public lands or off-short on the nation’s outer continental shelf.
Her plan also includes putting a price on carbon – starting at $52 per metric ton – to steer companies away from fossil fuels and towards clean and renewable energy alternatives, ending federal subsidies and tax subsidies for the fossil fuel industry, and spending $100 billion to help rural communities transition to clean energy
Gillibrand argued that her price on carbon will help pay for her plan.
“The revenue generated from this carbon tax, estimated at more than $200 billion annually, will then go directly back into our country’s transition to renewable energy,” she explained.
The candidate also pledged that on day one of a Gillibrand administration, she’d reverse Republican President Trump’s move to take the U.S out of the Paris climate agreement, and she vowed to strengthen Clean Air Act regulations and reverse the Trump administration’s moves on the Clean Water Act.
The senator – who’s struggled to resonate in the 2020 Democratic nomination polls – is the latest of a handful of 2020 White House hopefuls to release a comprehensive climate change action plan. Surveys indicate that climate change is one of the most urgent issues among Democratic presidential primary voters.