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Democrats propose spending trillions to fight climate change

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former Obama Cabinet member Julian Castro laid out their plans Tuesday. Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar released hers over the weekend. The release of the competing plans comes as issues of climate and the environment have become a central focus of the Democratic primary.

On Wednesday, 10 Democrats seeking the White House will participate in back-to-back climate town halls hosted by CNN in New York. A second set of climate-focused town halls will be televised by MSNBC later in the month. Liberals had demanded that the Democratic Party focus at least one debate on climate change, but a climate debate resolution was defeated at the Democratic National Committee’s summer meeting last month.

The issue is so urgent among Democratic voters that Washington Gov. Jay Inslee made action to limit the worst extremes of climate change the core of his presidential bid. But Inslee dropped out of the presidential race in August after failing to earn a spot in the September primary debate. Warren says Inslee’s ideas “should remain at the center of the agenda,” and she met with him in Seattle when she visited the state for a rally before Labor Day, according to two people familiar with the meeting who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss a private meeting. Warren’s clean-energy proposal builds on Inslee’s 10-year clean-energy plan in seeking to implement 100% clean-energy standards in three key sectors of the American economy.

Warren says she will increase her planned spending on research and investment to cut carbon emissions to $3 trillion. She embraces tough deadlines for sharply cutting or eliminating the use of fossil fuels by the U.S. electrical grid, highways and air transit systems, and by cities and towns. That includes making sure that new cars, buses and many trucks run on clean energy ? instead of gasoline or diesel ? by 2030 and that all the country’s electricity comes from solar, wind and other renewable, carbon-free sources by 2035.

Booker’s $3 trillion plan includes nearly a dozen executive actions to reverse Trump administration moves. He says that by no later than 2045, he wants to get the U.S. economy to carbon neutral ? a point at which carbon emissions are supposedly canceled out by carbon-cutting measures, such as planting new forests to suck up carbon from the atmosphere

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