Beto O’Rourke Releases $5 Trillion Climate Change Plan

Democratic presidential hopeful and former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke released a $5 trillion plan to combat climate change Monday.

O’Rourke, who has been criticized for lacking policy details, announced the four-pillar plan on his campaign website. The plan combines executive action and legislative solutions he vowed to push in his first 100 days in office.

The plan includes rejoining the Paris climate accord and raise efficiency standards for cars, buildings, and appliances. The plan also includes a net-zero carbon budget for federal land by 2030 and creating more national parks and monuments to protect sensitive landscapes.

The plan calls for a $5 trillion investment over the next 10 years to upgrade infrastructure and encourage innovation. The plan includes more than $1 trillion in tax incentives to drive down emissions and $250 billion for research and development.

The plan also calls for a $1.5 trillion investment from "revenues generated by structural changes to the tax code that ensure corporations and the wealthiest among us pay their fair share and that we finally end the tens of billions of dollars of tax breaks currently given to fossil fuel companies.”

Beto: Climate change is the greatest threat we face

“The greatest threat we face — which will test our country, our democracy, every single one of us — is climate change,” O’Rourke said in a statement Monday. "We have one last chance to unleash the ingenuity and political will of hundreds of millions of Americans to meet this moment before it's too late.” ​

O’Rourke’s emission reduction goal is similar to that of the Green New Deal, a sweeping proposal by progressives to battle climate change and inequality.

"By investing in infrastructure, innovation, and in our people and communities, we can achieve this ambition, which is in line with the 2050 emissions goal of the Green New Deal, in a way that grows our economy and shrinks our inequality,” the plan says.

"Throughout this campaign, he has listened to Americans all across the country and made their ideas and concerns part of his platform as he he's held 113 town halls in 88 cities and answered 625 questions," a campaign spokesperson told CNN. "That's how he learned more about record f(l)ooding in Iowa, drought in Nevada, a fight over offshore drilling in South Carolina, historic conservation efforts in New Hampshire, plans to protect the water and forests of Virginia, and wind and solar job growth throughout Texas."

Beto lags behind Dem frontrunners:

O’Rourke is not polling well despite his popularity in certain Democratic circles. According to RealClearPolitics polling averages, O’Rourke is polling at 6.3% nationally, behind Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg, and Elizabeth Warren. He is also polling at 4.3% in Iowa and 4.5% in New Hampshire, suggesting a steep climb ahead for the former Texas congressman.


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