Beto O’Rourke’s $5 Trillion Climate Plan
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Beto O’Rourke’s $5 Trillion Climate Plan

LUCY NICHOLSON

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke released a sweeping plan Monday intended to combat climate change and achieve a zero emissions economy by 2050.

“The greatest threat we face -- which will test our country, our democracy, every single one of us -- is climate change,” O’Rourke said Monday.

Here are some of the things O’Rourke proposes to do:

  • Rejoin the Paris Agreement that President Trump withdrew from in 2017.
  • Seek legislation that would require the U.S. to remove as much greenhouse gas as it emits, with half that goal achieved by 2030.
  • Halt fossil fuel leases on federal lands.
  • Reduce methane gas leaks from existing wells.
  • Require companies to measure and disclose greenhouse gas emissions.
  • End tax breaks for fossil fuel companies.  

O’Rourke said his plan would “mobilize” $5 trillion over 10 years, leveraged by “a fully paid-for $1.5 trillion investment” by the federal government. Revenues would be raised by “structural changes to the tax code that ensure corporations and the wealthiest among us pay their fair share.” More than $1 trillion in tax incentives would spur development of new green technologies, while new and existing financial institutions would raise more than $3 trillion for the effort.

Comparing the proposal to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-NY) Green New Deal, Tom DiChristopher of NBC News said O’Rourke’s plan “is fundamentally different because it seeks to leverage an initial government investment in order to spark private spending.”

Read O’Rourke’s proposal here.