Joe Biden said Tuesday night at the first presidential debate that he does not support the Green New Deal, but his campaign website calls it a “crucial framework” for meeting climate change challenges.
Biden spent much of the night distancing himself from the far left of his party, including openly disavowing the Green New Deal in rare form.
“The Green New Deal is not my plan,” Biden said, responding after Trump called out the former vice president over the climate proposal.
“No, I don’t support the Green New Deal,” Biden insisted. “I support the Biden plan I put forward, which is different than what [Trump] calls the Green New Deal.”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. -- who sponsored the Green New Deal -- later addressed Biden's comments on Twitter. “Our differences are exactly why I joined Biden’s Climate Unity Task Force – so we could set aside our differences & figure out an aggressive climate plan to address the planetary crisis at our feet," she said. “Trump doesn’t even believe climate change is real."
Biden’s clean energy plan, listed on his website, says the Democratic nominee believes there is “no greater challenge facing our nation and world.”
“Biden believes the Green New Deal is a crucial framework for meeting the climate challenges we face,” the plan says. “It powerfully captures two basic truths, which are at the core of his plan: (1) the United States urgently needs to embrace greater ambition on an epic scale to meet the scope of this challenge, and (2) our environment and our economy are completely and totally connected.”
The Biden plan does not endorse specific policies listed in the Green New Deal.
The deal, spearheaded by Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., is estimated by center-right think tank American Action Forum to cost up to $93 trillion in the first 10 years, or $65,000 per American household. Liberal economist Noah Smith estimates the deal would cost $6.6 trillion per year, or three times the amount of tax revenue the federal government collects each year.
Markey justifies the proposal by claiming that climate change will cost the U.S. 10% of GDP by 2090. Other estimates say the number is more like 3%.
In June, Biden unveiled his "Biden Plan for a Clean Energy Revolution & Environmental Justice" -- a $1.7 trillion, 10-year proposal that his campaign said would be supplemented by leveraging more than $5 trillion in additional private-sector and state and local investments.
In addition, the Biden plan promises 100% clean energy and net-zero emissions by 2050, to regulate polluters and demand other countries meet climate targets.
The former vice president vowed he’d pay for the new plan by rolling back the tax incentives in Trump’s tax cuts that he argued “enrich corporations at the expense of American jobs and the environment.”
Biden, in announcing the plan, warned that “science tells us that how we act or fail to act in the next 12 years will determine the very livability of our planet.”
Ocasio-Cortez weeks earlier had criticized Biden’s record on climate as “middle of the road.”