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Biden seeks $2 trillion clean energy and infrastructure spending boost

Joe Biden expanded his energy and climate plans Tuesday with a call for spending $2 trillion over four years on climate-friendly infrastructure — a proposal the campaign is casting as part of a wider economic recovery package.

Why it matters: The plan, which is the focus of a speech Biden will deliver this afternoon, represents a long-anticipated plan to move his climate platform further left and make it more expansive.


How it works: The spending is part of wider infrastructure and environmental justice plans the campaign released. Some of the major provisions of the new proposals include ...

  • An "accelerated" $2 trillion, first-term investment in carbon-free power and grid infrastructure, mass transit, efficient buildings, sustainable housing, "climate-smart" agriculture and more.
  • Part of the investment includes Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer's proposal to give big discounts to consumers who trade in gasoline-powered cars for U.S.-made electric models, and building or re-tooling manufacturing plants to focus on electric vehicles and battery technologies.
  • A standard requiring 100% carbon-free power generation by 2035, which was among the proposals last week from a task force that representatives for both Biden and former rival Bernie Sanders set up.
  • Creating a new "Environmental and Climate Justice Division" within the Department of Justice.
  • Bloomberg first reported on several of the new proposals.

The big picture: The spending is more aggressive than Biden's climate and energy plan unveiled before the coronavirus pandemic, which called for $1.7 trillion in federal investments over 10 years.

  • Campaign officials told reporters that some of new plan would be paid for with Biden's call for raising taxes on corporations and the rich, but also "some amount of stimulus spending."
  • They pledged to provide more details on financing once Biden's full economic recovery plans are laid out in the coming weeks.

Reality check: Some of the big new energy policy and spending proposals, like several pillars of Biden's existing plan, would require congressional approval.

  • That makes them unlikely to go far unless Democrats also regain control of the Senate.
  • And even then, major energy and climate bills will face big political hurdles unless Democrats scrap or weaken filibuster rules.

Editor's note: This post has been updated with additional details after the plan's release.

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