Climate activists largely praised his pitch Tuesday, although some said the Democrats' 2020 front-runner still hasn't gone far enough to challenge the fossil fuel industry.
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"The Biden plan will be paid for by reversing the excesses of the Trump tax cuts for corporations, reducing incentives for tax havens, evasion, and outsourcing, ensuring corporations pay their fair share", according to a press release from his campaign.
Some of Biden's Democratic rivals, including Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, have taken tougher stances on climate change by endorsing the Green New Deal, a non-binding Congressional resolution that calls for an end to fossil fuel use within a decade.
President Donald Trump successfully billed Obama-era environmental protections as job-killers to his supporters, and has directed his administration to roll back many of them since taking office.
Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden speaks during the Human Rights Campaign Columbus, Ohio Dinner at Ohio State University Saturday, June 1, 2019.
The former vice president's outline tracks some ideas of the Green New Deal pushed by many Democrats in Washington, though Biden isn't as aggressive in his timeline for curbing emissions.
For the first time, Biden said he would not accept donations from fossil fuel companies or executives and also joined almost a dozen other rivals in the Democratic primary in calling for a ban on new oil and gas leasing on federal land and waters - instead focusing on deploying renewables.
Biden's plan consists of several executive actions that he would take on his first day in office, including creating an enforcement mechanism to put the United States on track to achieve 100% clean energy and a net-zero emissions goal by 2050, and re-committing the United States to the Paris Climate Deal, an worldwide accord to fight global warming that Trump pull the United States out of in June 2017.
He acknowledges that such an overhaul would affect existing US energy workers - coal miners and power plant operators especially.
Biden also recognizes the "environmental justice" movement that highlights how pollution disproportionately affects poorer, mostly nonwhite communities. Biden pledges a more aggressive Environmental Protection Agency, vows to have clean drinking water for all Americans and pledges that minority communities will be targeted for initial investments in federal clean energy spending.
Still, Biden's dual focus on coal towns and nonwhite communities reflects political lessons from 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's loss. Meanwhile, Democratic turnout dropped in some cities with high nonwhite populations, places where aging infrastructure has become a defining issue.
Biden envisions expanding the nation's railways, with massive growth that theoretically would reduce auto demand.
Biden's first bid for the presidency in 1988 was derailed when instances of plagiarism in campaign speeches and during law school came to light.
Among his ideas for automobiles, Biden calls for fuel economy standards "beyond" the Obama administration's goal of about 54 miles (87 kilometers) per gallon (3.8 liters). The Trump administration has rolled that back, saying the regulation would increase consumers' purchase prices of cars. The Energy Department would be tasked with tightening efficiency standards for household appliances and equipment. That could put him at odds with some activists on the left who cast nuclear energy as too risky.
On the worldwide front, Biden calls out China as the world's biggest coal polluter and says he'd make all future bilateral deals with Beijing contingent on carbon reductions. Biden also urges an worldwide alliance that would help other nations afford low-carbon development and pitches a global moratorium on offshore drilling in the Arctic.