President Joe Biden tried to advance his domestic spending plans in Colorado on Tuesday by warning of the dangers of climate change while also highlighting how his clean energy proposals would also create well-paying jobs.
The trip to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Flatirons campus outside Denver capped the president’s two-day turn west and offered Biden the opportunity to continue to link the need to pass his spending package with the urgent threat that represents climate change.
“Here’s the good news: something that is caused by humans can be solved by humans,” said Biden. He viewed the need for a clean energy future as an “economic imperative and a national security imperative” and said there was no time to lose as the impact of climate change appears to be worsening year after year.
Biden said extreme weather events will cost more than $ 100 billion in damage this year and underscored his goal of reaching net zero emissions by 2050 while using only carbon pollution-free energy 15 years earlier.
“We can do that, we can do all of this in a way that creates good jobs, lowers costs for consumers and businesses, and makes us world leaders,” the president said.
Biden spoke about “more jobs for the economy” on a previous tour while looking at a giant windmill blade on the ground outside the lab and getting a demonstration of wind turbine technology.
And, well aware of the delicate work that was going on in Washington to work out details of their infrastructure spending package plus, he gestured to Democratic lawmakers during the tour and said, “They’re the ones who get it all on the road. Congress”.
Biden had spent Monday in Boise, Idaho and Sacramento, California, receiving reports of the devastating wildfire season and seeing the Caldor Fire damage to communities around Lake Tahoe.
“We cannot ignore the reality that these wildfires are being supercharged by climate change,” Biden said, noting that catastrophic weather does not strike based on partisan ideology. “It is not about red or blue states. It’s about fires. Just fires. “
Throughout his journey, Biden held up wildfires across the region as the rationale for his $ 1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill and an additional $ 3.5 trillion spending package. The president said every dollar spent on “resilience” would save $ 6 in future costs. And he argued that rebuilding must go beyond simply restoring damaged systems and instead ensuring that communities can withstand such crises.
“In the end, it is not about red states or blue states. A drought or fire doesn’t see a property line, “Biden said.” It doesn’t matter, you don’t give a damn which party you belong to … yes, we are facing a crisis, but we are facing a crisis with unprecedented opportunity. “
Biden presents the spending plan as key to fighting climate change. #Clean Energy #Climate Change #Renewable Energies #USPoli
Climate provisions in Biden’s plans include tax incentives for clean energy and electric vehicles, investments for the transition of the economy from fossil fuels to renewable sources such as wind and solar energy, and the creation of a civil corps of the climate.
Biden has set a goal of eliminating fossil fuel pollution in the energy sector by 2035 and the overall US economy by 2050.
The president’s two-day western turn comes at a critical juncture for a central pillar of his legislative agenda. Capitol lawmakers are working to gather details of the infrastructure plan further and how to pay for it, a concern not just for Republicans.
With a unified Republican opposition in Congress, Biden needs to overcome the skepticism of two key centrist Democrats in a narrowly divided Senate. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona have raised concerns about the size of the $ 3.5 billion spending package.
In California, Biden appeared to respond to those concerned about the size of the plan, saying that the cost “may be” up to $ 3.5 trillion and would be spread over 10 years, a period during which the cost is expected. economy grow. He also insisted that when it comes to tackling climate change, “we have to think big.”
“Thinking small is a recipe for disaster,” he said.
The 100-member Senate is evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans. Given the strong opposition from the Republican Party, Biden’s plan cannot be approved by the Senate without the support of Manchin or Sinema. The legislative push comes at a crucial time for Biden, who had seen his poll numbers drop after the United States’ tumultuous exit from Afghanistan and a spike in COVID-19 cases due to the highly contagious Delta variant.
Lemire reported from Washington. Associated Press writer Darlene Superville contributed to this report.