This should also get the young people excited enough to vote Biden in 2020. 

Courtesy of NBC News

When Hillary Clinton proposed a climate plan in the run-up to the 2016 election that included $60 billion for clean energy infrastructure and $30 billion more to redevelop coal-mining communities, it was met with mixed reviews: an “ambitious” plan but one with “holes.”

The plan proposed some of the largest investments in clean energy tech put forward by a major presidential candidate, a sign of how far the topic of climate change had come in politics but, for activists, also a sign of how far was left to go.

Last week, almost exactly five years later, Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, released a $2 trillion plan that climate activists say could create the kind of change necessary to avert the more catastrophic consequences of climate change.

“We’re talking about major investments in every corner of the country and every ZIP code,” said Steve Capanna, the director of U.S. climate policy and analysis at the Environmental Defense Fund, a New York-based advocacy group. “That’s a great way to put people of diverse income levels and diverse skill sets back to work in a way that will be rebuilding better than just going back to the way things were before.”

Biden’s plan spans four years and includes some lofty goals — including achieving a 100 percent clean electricity standard by 2035.

“The first linchpin to decarbonizing the United States is cleaning up our electricity system,” said Leah Stokes, an assistant professor of political science at the University of California, Santa Barbara who specializes in climate policy. “I can’t even describe how excited I was to see that in the plan.”

Biden’s proposal has earned high praise from climate scientists and environmental advocates, who say it would put the U.S. on a challenging but achievable path to building a clean energy economy and would help restore the country’s reputation on the global stage.

The climate plan is significantly more aggressive than the climate road map Biden set forth last year, which proposed spending $1.7 trillion over 10 years.

“The U.S. federal budget is $4 trillion a year, on average,” Stokes said. “Biden is committing to spending one-eighth of the budget on climate change in his first term. That’s huge.”

This plan is going to get huge pushback from the fossil fuel companies and their GOP lackeys but that should only make it even more attractive in the eyes of progressive voters. 

This is the most aggressive clean energy policy proposal that we have ever seen, so Biden is clearly aware of where the passion lies with progressives these days. 

It should be pointed out that just like we saw with President Obama’s climate change policies, which were all undone by Trump, that this only works if we can keep the Republicans from sabotaging it and that means keeping them out of the White House for at least the next four terms. 

That may prove more than just a little challenging.