Democratic presidential hopeful John Delaney is the latest to offer forward a several trillion dollar plan to combat climate change.
The Washington Examiner reports the former congressman from Maryland described his proposal as “a real plan that all Americans can support” and claimed it is a necessary response to the changing environment: “We need a real plan to hit our goals, and we have to listen to actual scientists.”
Unlike most of his 2020 Democratic counterparts, Delaney included a carbon tax in the proposal:
A former congressman from Maryland, Delaney co-sponsored a bipartisan carbon tax and dividend bill last year that would return the revenue to Americans to offset higher energy prices. His new proposal is also for a carbon tax and dividend.
But other Democratic candidates who’ve released climate change plans, such as Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, and former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, have not included a carbon tax in their proposals.
Delaney’s proposal comes after Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Ind., recently proposed a carbon tax and dividend.
The carbon tax stands as a polarizing idea in climate circles as economists generally argue for its inclusion while climate hawks claim it hurts the political effort of combating climate change.
“Some progressives consider it insufficient and are distrustful of oil and gas companies that have endorsed carbon tax and dividend proposals,” the Washington Examiner adds.
Delaney is reportedly no fan of Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s climate proposal, claiming she was just playing politics:
Delaney is skeptical of the progressive “Green New Deal,” which does not endorse or reject carbon pricing, but calls for major spending on clean energy development, government-provided healthcare, and guaranteed jobs.
“We can’t play politics with climate change,” Michael Hopkins, a Delaney spokesman, told the Washington Examiner, when asked how his climate plan distinguishes from others. “It’s an issue that requires real leadership. We need serious proposals that can make it through Congress.”
Delaney’s proposed carbon tax would start at $15 per metric ton and increase by $10 each year, which he says would reduce carbon emissions 90% by 2050.
Taxpayers receiving a dividend check from the tax would have the option of investing the money in a savings account for education or a retirement account.
Delaney also proposes to invest $5 billion a year to reduce the cost of carbon capture technology that can remove emissions from coal plants and industrial facilities. He makes special emphasis of “direct air capture” that would suck carbon dioxide directly from the sky.
The incredibly expensive climate change plans have been mostly off-putting to every day Americans. The issue of climate change and taking political steps to address is likely to continue to be a top concern among both Democrats and Republicans nearing 2020.