Inslee: Biden needs to 'step up his game' on climate change

Inslee: Biden needs to 'step up his game' on climate change
© Greg Nash

Washington Gov. Jay InsleeJay Robert InsleeOvernight Energy: Democrats push EPA to collect 4K in 'excessive' Pruitt travel expenses | Greens angered over new rules for rocket fuel chemical | Inslee to join youth climate strikers in Las Vegas Inslee hits 65,000 donor threshold for primary debate Inslee says he'll join youth climate strikers in Las Vegas MORE criticized fellow 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Joe BidenJoe BidenGiuliani meets with former Ukrainian diplomat to get info on Dems Gillibrand seizes on abortion debate to jump-start campaign DNC boss says candidates to be involved in debate lottery MORE’s approach to climate policy early Thursday, saying the former vice president needs to “step up his game.”

“I will reserve judgment until we see what Joe Biden actually proposes, and I will wait and see if he can match the commitments that I have made to the American people,” Inslee, who has made climate action the central theme of his presidential campaign, said at a campaign event in Washington D.C. to introduce his climate plan.

“If he does that, I think it will be a great day for the Democratic Party," he added. "But to do so, he’s going to have to up his game.”

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Inslee’s climate plan, which calls for a $9 trillion investment to promote a green economy, aims to create 8 million jobs over the next decade. It includes $3 trillion in public investment as well as investments in housing and municipal infrastructure.

“Just as it did in the 20th century, America must rise to this 21st century challenge with a bold plan to: create jobs; protect workers’ rights; repower the economy; rebuild our infrastructure; and reinvest in innovation,” Inslee said Thursday.

The governor has previously called out other Democratic presidential candidates for what he perceives as insufficient commitment to the threat of climate change.

In April, he said former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), who released his own climate plan, “did not lead” on the issue during his time in Congress.

Biden, the front-runner in the Democratic field, took criticism from the left flank of the party after saying he supported a “middle ground” on climate issues. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez defends Dem lawmaker who said child migrant deaths were 'intentional' On The Money: Senate passes disaster aid bill after deal with Trump | Trump to offer B aid package for farmers | House votes to boost retirement savings | Study says new tariffs to double costs for consumers Murkowski celebrates birthday with electric scooter ride MORE (D-N.Y.), a chief advocate for the Green New Deal, called the idea a “deal-breaker.”