Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) released his plans for a Green New Deal, accompanied by a monstrous $16 trillion price tag.
Sanders calls climate change the “single greatest challenge facing our country,” citing “extreme” weather phenomena like floods, droughts, wildfires, and hurricanes, despite the fact that those occurrences have existed since the beginning of time. Sanders even suggests that climate change has a racial element to it, arguing the effects of climate change affect “communities of color,” particularly.
He warns “immediate” action is necessary, likening the “crisis” to the challenges former President Franklin D. Roosevelt faced in the 1940s, leading to the creation of the New Deal.
Sanders’ plan promises to effectively reverse the “crisis” while simultaneously creating 20 million jobs and reaching “100 percent renewable energy for electricity and transportation by no later than 2030 and complete decarbonization by at least 2050,” per the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s guidelines.
A $16.3 trillion public investment is necessary to make those goals a reality, which falls in line with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), who said any viable climate change plan needed to come with a $10 trillion price tag – at least– in order to “have a shot.”
Sanders says we must “directly invest a historic $16.3 trillion public investment toward these efforts, in line with the mobilization of resources made during the New Deal and WWII, but with an explicit choice to include black, indigenous and other minority communities who were systematically excluded in the past.”
However, he claims the investment will effectively “pay for itself” over 15 years and that the price of inaction will cost far more, citing experts who say that doing nothing will cost the U.S. “$34.5 trillion in economic activity” by 2100. He plans to pay for the $16.3 trillion plan with additional taxes on the fossil fuel industry, and he plans to “prosecute and sue” them for the damage ravaged on the planet.
Sanders’ exhaustive plan covers virtually every angle of the climate change “crisis,” from promising to “fully electrify and decarbonize” the transportation sector, to investing $1.12 billion in “tribal land access and extension programs,” to providing “oral translation assistance to USDA, FDA, and DOJ offices for non-English speaking farmers,” to pouring $200 billion in the Green Climate Fund