“Joseph R. Biden Jr. announced on Tuesday a new plan to spend $2 trillion over four years to significantly escalate the use of clean energy in the transportation, electricity and building sectors, part of a suite of sweeping proposals designed to create economic opportunities and strengthen infrastructure while also tackling climate change.
In a speech in Wilmington, Del., Mr. Biden built on his plans, released last week, for reviving the economy in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, with a new focus on enhancing the nation’s infrastructure and emphasizing the importance of significantly cutting fossil fuel emissions. As he denounced President Trump’s stewardship of the virus and climate change, he drew criticism from Republicans — but he also faced a key test from progressives who have long been skeptical of the scope of his climate ambitions.
“These are the most critical investments we can make for the long-term health and vitality of both the American economy and the physical health and safety of the American people,” he said. “When Donald Trump thinks about climate change, the only word he can muster is ‘hoax.’ When I think about climate change, the word I think of is ‘jobs.’”
The proposal is the second plank in Mr. Biden’s economic recovery plan. His team sees an opportunity to take direct aim at Mr. Trump, who has struggled to deliver on his pledges to pay for major improvements to American infrastructure.
“Seems like every few weeks when he needs a distraction from the latest charges of corruption in his staff, or the conviction of high-ranking members of administration and political apparatus, the White House announces, quote, ‘It’s Infrastructure Week,’” Mr. Biden said, referring to a long-running Washington joke. “He’s never delivered. Never really even tried. Well, I know how to get it done.”
Throughout his remarks, Mr. Biden sought to signal that he grasps the urgency of global climate challenges while also casting the issue as the next great test of American ingenuity.
“I know meeting the challenge would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to jolt new life into our economy, strengthen our global leadership, protect our planet for future generations,” Mr. Biden said. “If I have the honor of being elected president, we’re not just going to tinker around the edges. We’re going to make historic investments that will seize the opportunity, meet this moment in history.”