Thursday, July 09, 2020

Biden-Sanders task force recommends goal of eliminating carbon pollution from power plants by 2035

One of the "unity task forces" formed by former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has recommended Biden adopt "a goal of eliminating carbon pollution from power plants by 2035, achieving net-zero emissions for all new buildings by 2030, and making energy-saving upgrades to as many as 4 million buildings and 2 million households within five years," Rachel Frazin reports for The Hill. "The plan also calls for a significant investment in renewable energy, including installing 500 million solar panels and manufacturing 60,000 wind turbines."

"Some of the recommendations released Wednesday set more specific targets than the former vice president’s current climate plan, which calls for a shift away from coal-fired electricity, halving the carbon footprint of buildings by 2035 and starting a national program aimed at affordable energy efficiency retrofits in homes," Frazin notes. "The climate panel is co-chaired by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), a leading proponent of the Green New Deal, and 2004 Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry."

The panel did not endorse the Green New Deal, a ban on horizontal hydraulic fracturing for natural gas, Medicare for all or other "policies that could prove too divisive for some swing voters in November," The Associated Press reports. "Their 110 pages of recommendations should help shape the policy platform Democrats will adopt during their national convention next month — even though the entire party platform adopted in 2016 ran only about 50 pages."

The panel wrote, “The Unity Task Force urges that we treat climate change like the emergency that it is and answer the crisis with an ambitious, unprecedented, economy-wide mobilization to decarbonize the economy and build a resilient, stronger foundation for the American people.”

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