by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden believes that a “Green New Deal” is “a crucial framework for meeting the climate challenges we face,” and many elements of his $2 trillion climate plan mirror the controversial proposal.
Biden, who on Thursday evening will formally accept the Democratic Party’s nomination for the presidency, has largely avoided the limelight, campaigning via teleconference from his home in Delaware. But from that home, he has planned an administration on par with Franklin Roosevelt’s, including a massive investment of taxpayer dollars in a climate plan which, one expert told the Washington Free Beacon, would be “unachievable, fantastically expensive, and environmentally destructive.”
That plan includes Green New Deal-style proposals such as a “civilian climate corps” and the mass retrofitting of America’s homes and vehicles. It also reproduces key features of President Barack Obama’s environmental agenda, including a focus on regulating consumer products and the return of the questionably effective “cash for clunkers” program. And it incorporates many of the concerns of the Democratic Party’s activist base, including a separate plan for pursuing “environmental justice” by targeting federal subsidies to minority groups.
The proposal is clearly influenced by Biden’s more progressive 2020 challengers, particularly Washington governor Jay Inslee. … It also broadly mirrors the recommendations of the climate section of the Biden-Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) unity task force, co-chaired by former secretary of state John Kerry and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.).
Although Biden has not publicly endorsed Ocasio-Cortez or others’ official Green New Deal proposals, the elements of his climate platform indicate this major piece of his presidential agenda is heavily influenced by the Democratic Party’s far-left flank, one of the many places he’s been pulled left over the course of the year.