- In a Tuesday afternoon speech, presidential candidate Joe Biden outlined his plan for nearly $2 trillion in infrastructure spending, focused mostly on renewable energy and electrification, which he described as a "one-time" opportunity to reestablish the U.S. as a global economic and political leader.
- His plan aims to "create millions of good, union jobs rebuilding America’s crumbling infrastructure — from roads and bridges to green spaces and water systems to electricity grids and universal broadband," according to his website.
- The plan also calls for improving light rail and transit systems and bus lines and installing infrastructure for pedestrians and bicyclists.
Climate change isn't the next problem awaiting Americans when the nation emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic — it's an opportunity to accelerate the economic recovery from COVID, Biden said Tuesday.
"We need to modernize America's infrastructure," Biden said, criticizing President Donald Trump's "broken promises" of major infrastructure spending. "Here we are with an economy in crisis, but an incredible opportunity to not just build back to where we were before, but better, stronger, and more resilient."
Biden described climate change as an "existential threat" to the survival of humanity, but also as an economic opportunity. "When I think about climate change, the word I think of is 'jobs,'" he said. "Good paying, union jobs to put Americans to work."
In his first four years in office, Biden said, he would reinstate environmental and public health regulations blocked by the Trump administration, and then immediately set about investing public funds in renewable energy and other sustainable infrastructure initiatives.
He said he would build 1.5 million new, energy efficient homes to address emissions and the affordable housing crisis. Another 4 million buildings would be retrofitted, spurring the creation of another 1 million jobs, he said, and electrical generation would be decarbonized to ensure these electrified homes run on clean energy.
Biden also spoke of launching an "environmental justice" initiative to repair environmental and economic harms to "fenceline" communities populated primarily by minorities, saying that more than a quarter million jobs are needed just to plug abandoned oil and gas wells and address other environmental hazards that pollute disadvantaged communities across the country