Gillibrand Releases $10 Trillion Climate Change Proposal

'Saving our planet should be this generation’s moonshot'

(Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images)
• July 25, 2019 10:10 am


Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) released her "moonshot" plan to address climate change on Thursday, calling for $10 trillion in spending over the next decade.

The 2020 candidate published a Medium post where she boasted about signing on early to the Green New Deal, a far-reaching resolution sponsored by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) that would drastically overhaul the economic and energy systems of the United States.

"As president, I will restore U.S. climate leadership with ambitious and immediate action to enact the Green New Deal, mobilize $10 trillion in public and private funding over the next decade and set us on the course to achieve net-zero carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions," Gillibrand wrote. "I’ll make climate polluters pay, transform our economy with good-paying green jobs, and protect clean air and clean water as fundamental human rights.

"We must set our ambitions high and aim to achieve net-zero emissions in the next decade, and we will put enforceable standards in place to ensure our whole economy meets net-zero emissions no later than 2050."

She said she would also end all new fossil fuel leases on public lands and the Outer Continental Shelf, ban fracking on public lands, and "end fossil fuel exports that are contributing to climate pollution overseas."

Gillibrand's plan called for punitive measures against fossil fuel companies, including an excise fossil fuel tax that will send $100 billion a year for what she calls a Change Mitigation Trust Fund. She'll put a carbon tax at $52 per metric ton to generate $200 billion annually into the effort to transition the U.S. to renewable energy.

Like other candidates such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.), her proposal envisions investment in so-called "green jobs."

"We must make it a priority to ensure green jobs are good jobs," she wrote. "Any federal investment in clean energy job creation will be coupled with strong job standards like prevailing wage and union neutrality protections, as well as use of project labor and community benefit agreements."

Saving the planet should be this generation's "moonshot," Gillibrand argued.

Gillibrand is a long way from seeing her plan become reality, given she's been a non-factor in the 2020 presidential primary. She's in danger of missing out on the third round of debates in September, as she's still short of the 130,000 unique donors necessary and she's barely resonated in the polls.