By Audrey Conklin
2020 Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang’s 11,000-word, $4 trillion plan to tackle climate change is 3,000 words shorter than challenger Bernie Sanders’ $16 trillion climate plan.
Yang’s extensive plan released Monday is also less expensive than former Vice President Joe Biden’s 10,000-word, $6.7 trillion plan, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker’s respective similar, but shorter, 600-word, $6.7 trillion bill, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s 3,000-word, $10 trillion plan.
Other candidates have shared ideas to tackle climate change but have not released formal plans or proposed funding amounts.
— Andrew Yang🧢🇺🇸 (@AndrewYang) August 26, 2019
Sanders’ $16 trillion, Green New Deal-like plan introduced on Aug. 22 will “pay for itself” over 15 years by increasing taxes on fossil fuel companies, generating revenue from federal renewable energy, and collecting income tax from the 20 million jobs it aims to create, according to the senator’s website.
Yang’s plan, while less expensive than Sanders’, does not specify where the $4 trillion to tackle climate will come, though he does say his $24.5 billion U.S. Forest Service budget to focus on fire prevention “will more than pay for itself by preventing megafires.”
He also does not specify how many jobs the plan will create, though his plan references his Democracy Dollars initiative, which would give “over $20 billion directly in the hands of the American people annually to support politicians they agree with.”
Both plans aim to create 100% renewable energy, reach complete decarbonization, tax fossil fuels, set zero-emission standard for all new cars and create a fully green economy, among other things. Sanders aims to reach 100% renewable energy by 2030 while Yang gives Americans an extra five years until 2035.
Sanders’ website says a Green New Deal will “save American families money and generate millions of jobs by transforming our energy system away from fossil fuels to 100% energy efficiency and sustainable energy.”
Yang’s plan similarly states, “The Green New Deal has done a great job in starting the conversation, and its goals of lowering emissions, converting to renewable energy, and creating good paying jobs are commendable. We need to strive for these goals and set up a realistic plan utilizing all options in order to get to a fully sustainable economy ahead of 2050.”
“Oil companies will stop getting subsidized under my plan. The rest of us will see cheaper energy costs, better air quality, and new, local jobs that we can use to support our families,” it adds.
The entrepreneur’s plan also compares manufacturing success during World War II to the potential manufacturing success of a fully green economy.
“The last time we dedicated the American people to a massive manufacturing project – World War II – we grew our economy, kicked off decades of growth, and created a set of middle class jobs that provided upward mobility and a good life for half a century,” his plan reads.
Yang also calls for an “American Scorecard” that would “better measure our environmental quality and sustainability” in relation to the U.S. economy. The scorecard would be something of a GDP replacement to “move the way we measure the economy and corporate outcomes to actually take these environmental costs into account.”
Yang is currently polling at 3% nationwide behind South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, according to the latest Monmouth poll.
Sanders’ and Yang’s campaigns did not immediately respond for comment.
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