Biden’s Environmental Agenda: The Cliff Notes


David O’Brien, Editor

Photographed above is Joe Biden at the 2015 Climate Leaders Summit.

The Biden-Sanders manifesto contains the entire policy agenda of the Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden. It would be impossible to condense all one hundred and ten pages into a Collegian article, so this article will examine individual policies and summarize them for the busy reader. 

The cornerstone of Biden’s plan is to use federal funding to create a new clean energy initiative. By allocating federal funds to the climate initiative, the carbon footprint will be reduced while simultaneously creating much-needed new jobs in the post-coronavirus job market. The Democratic nominee plans to allocate funds to retrofit two million households and four million buildings to make them more energy efficient. By doing so, numerous government jobs will be created. Furthermore, Biden plans to immediately rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement and use the United States’ power to help enforce stronger climate policies throughout the world. Federal bills will be introduced that will remove carbon pollution from power plants by 2035. The administration will also attempt to expand solar and wind power through community-based efforts across the country. Biden plans to provide federally-funded education for the impoverished and underrepresented to help lead this effort, as well as providing a New Deal-esque program to put people who may have lost their jobs from the COVID-19 pandemic to work. 

The manifesto asserts new energy policies will lead to a lower power bill for households across the country and will increase the life expectancy of the average American through cleaner air and water created by a lack of pollution. The federal government will also pass legislation providing better health benefits to those affected from ailments stemming from the fossil fuel industry. Tax cuts will be given to businesses that have clean air initiatives. Businesses that do contribute to the carbon footprint will be held accountable and forced to provide funding for cleaning up industrial sites so that they can be replaced with new businesses that help restore some of the lost economic opportunity. The Biden administration will create a climate change task force that represents all facets of the Democratic party, co-chaired by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and former Secretary of State John Kerry. 

While the main focus of the environmental agenda is pollution, the manifesto also discusses the clean water crisis. The crisis will be resolved by investing in wastewater as well as freshwater infrastructure. The federal government will prioritize low-income areas for federal and state grants for public schools so they can install clean water filters and remediate lead in drinking water. The administration will also focus on assisting poor, rural communities by utilizing the Rural Utility Service and the Clean Water State Revolving Fund. Finally, Biden plans to overhaul the transportation industry by making strict regulations for manufacturing cars, providing government grants to the scientific progress of electric cars and invest in clean cars and buses. Biden’s sweeping environmental plan is just one aspect of his administrative plan. While there is no way to know what aspects of this sweeping plan he would prioritize if elected to office, Biden certainly has big goals for the United States’ involvement in reducing the carbon footprint.

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