The Biden visited Colorado on Tuesday to promote his green energy agenda
President Biden had a rare, optimistic message about the state of the climate crisis during a visit to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado, telling a crowd of assembled scientists and union electricians that his proposed green energy plans would create hundreds of thousands of high-paying jobs and tackle the radically escalating extreme weather ravaging numerous parts of the country.
“There’s not a damn thing we’re unable to do in America when we come together,” Mr Biden said. “Never ever have we failed, and we’re not going to fail now.”
The bipartisan infrastructure plan that passed in the Senate, as well as Democrats’ larger $3.5 trillion reconciliation budget proposal, both contain significant spending aimed at the climate crisis, which Mr Biden said was “blinking code red” for America.
The infrastructure bill, which has already passed the Senate, contains first-of-its kind spending on making US roads, ports and bridges more climate resilient, as well as a proposed $7.5 billion for electric vehicle charging stations, $5 billion for electric and low-emission school buses, and $39 billion to modernize public transit systems. (Climate activists have said the package doesn’t nearly go far enough, with one group calling its promises, well below Biden campaign targets on climate, a “pathetic” level of investment compared to the scope of the problem.)
The larger spending package, which senator Brian Schatz called the “main course” of the party’s climate agenda, could include consumer rebates for clean electricity, the creation of a Civilian Climate Corps, and a recently announced $150 billion plan to move energy producers off of fossil fuels.
During his remarks on Tuesday, Mr Biden said these policies would put 800,000 people to work in high-paying jobs and could save consumers more than $1,000 on purchasing an electric vehicle, not to mention slowing disasters like wildfires and hurricanes that have been battering the country.
“The bottom line is it’s everywhere,” the president said of the climate crisis. “Even if it’s not in your backyard, you feel the effects.”
Republicans, as well as some moderate Democrats, have balked at the spending proposed in the two bills, but the president argued in Colorado that it was a savvy investment, since climate change-fueled extreme weather alone was likely going to cause more than $100 billion in damage this year.
The day before, he lashed out at doubters on climate spending, telling them that anything but massive investments in greening were a “recipe for disaster“.