Energy & Environment

2020 hopeful John Delaney unveils $4T climate plan

John Delaney is adding his name to a growing list of Democratic presidential hopefuls rolling out climate action plans, with a $4 trillion proposal announced on Thursday.

The former Maryland congressman's plan focuses on six key areas to tackle the "climate crisis," including an introduction of a carbon tax, renewable energy investments and funding carbon capture technology.

"We have to act on climate and we have to act now," Delaney said in a statement. "We need a real plan to hit our goals and we have to listen to actual scientists. This is a real plan that all Americans can support. It is full of new ideas and massive investments in innovation that will both deal with climate change and create jobs in the heartland and all across our country."

He said the plan outlines initiatives he would achieve within the first 100 days of taking the presidency.

Delaney's campaign called his commitment to a carbon tax, or fee, the largest component of his climate plan. He proposes starting the fee on carbon pollution at $15 per metric ton of Co2 and increasing the cost by $10 every year. The issue was an important one for Delaney while he was in Congress. He introduced the first bipartisan carbon fee and dividend bill in over 10 years, according to his campaign.

He said his plan would reduce carbon emissions by 90 percent by 2050.

Delaney is the fourth Democratic presidential candidate to release a comprehensive climate action plan, following Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet and former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke, who announced a $5 trillion proposal.

Many of the party's 2020 candidates have also embraced climate change as a key issue to their campaigns.

Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Cory Booker (D-NJ.) have both introduced policy plans that touch on curbing carbon emissions. Warren also last week called for a primary debate solely focused on climate change.

Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), meanwhile, have both pledged to refuse campaign donations from the fossil fuel industry and embraced the Green New Deal progressive climate plan.

Former Vice President Joe Biden is also working on his own climate plan, which is expected to have a more moderate focus.

South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg is the only other 2020 candidate to say he will aim for a carbon tax if elected. Last week, he laid out some policy positions that pointed towards supporting a tax on carbon.

A carbon tax has been a hot topic of late. On Wednesday, the CEOs of 75 major businesses, including Microsoft and BP, flooded Capitol Hill to preach the implementation of a federal carbon tax to lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

The issue is largely considered a moot point with Republicans controlling the Senate and the White House.

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