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Are the Democrats’ new climate-crisis action plans any good?

Last week, the Joe Biden-Bernie Sanders climate unity task force put forward a number of recommendations to combat climate change, as Electrek reported on July 9. That followed a huge climate plan from the House Democrats in June to bring the US to net zero by 2050. But are they good preliminary plans?

Electrek’s take

We at Electrek are delighted that there are even plans on the table at the US federal level. Should Biden win the presidency, the new administration can hopefully hit the ground running to implement climate-crisis plans.

(And for those who think we’re being politically biased, there simply is no climate-change plan coming from the Republicans, apart from planting trees. They continue to push fossil fuels.)

The Democrats’ plan is broad, but it’s a good start. We of course particularly like the significant investment in green energy. We’d like to see a stronger push toward moving entirely to electric vehicles, though, the way that the UK is moving to all EVs, as ICE new-car sales are banned there from 2035.

The Washington Post’s take

The Washington Post released an op-ed yesterday titled, “Democrats are getting ready to govern responsibly on climate change.” The title implies that the WashPo finds the plan favorable overall, but it would like to see nuclear power kept in the conversation and a carbon tax play a more prominent role. Here’s an excerpt of what its editorial board wrote about the plan. You can read it in full by clicking on the link above:

Global warming has not taken a break since the COVID-19 outbreak struck. The Democrats, at least, are treating it like the emergency it remains.

If the Democrats win big in November, they would have a shelf fully stocked with pre-written climate policies from which to choose. That alone puts them far ahead of Republicans.

To be clear, Democrats deserve credit for listening to scientists on the level of ambition needed, and they have not surrendered to the left flank of the debate, refusing, for example, to strike nuclear power from the conversation. Moreover, the threat of climate change is so large that even second-best policies are better than nothing. But should he have the chance to govern, Mr. Biden should still aim higher than second-best.

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Avatar for Michelle Lewis Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis is a writer and editor on Electrek and an editor on DroneDJ, 9to5Mac, and 9to5Google. She lives in White River Junction, Vermont. She has previously worked for Fast Company, the Guardian, News Deeply, Time, and others. Message Michelle on Twitter or at Check out her personal blog.