, 20 tweets, 8 min read Read on Twitter
Today @JoeBiden’s campaign finally described what it plans to do on climate. Since expectations were low, many are reacting by saying this is a solid plan. I’m not buying it. Some thoughts in a THREAD. joebiden.com/climate/
First, there’s no way this plan existed weeks, let alone months ago. There are typos throughout and weird formatting. This thing was thrown together by his team in response to fantastic reporting from @ValerieVolco and amazing activism from groups like @Sunrisemvmt.
It’s also clear that the Biden team is being pushed by the detailed plans of other candidates including @JayInslee @ewarren @BetoORourke. 3/
As a Professor, I’ve seen plagiarism before. And this strikes me as a cribbed plan. It's like his team copied off of his competitors, using all the same keywords ("environmental justice", "Green New Deal") but with less substance. 4/
I have no problem with campaigns borrowing ideas with one another. But there needs to be substance and commitment behind those plans. I am wary that we will find empty words with the Biden team. 5/
And lest you think my point about plagiarism is overstated… 6/
Still: there are some good ideas like banning new fossil fuel development on public lands. An idea that @ewarren pushed first, to be clear. I’m okay with Biden stealing that one because it’s a good plan that could be done via executive action. But I’m giving @ewarren the credit.
The plan is very “Obama administration, stay the course!” Would simply putting the EV tax incentive back in place, trying again for rail, trying again for climate negotiations, etc. do it? No. It wouldn’t do it. Probably we wouldn’t even hit the zero emissions by 2050 target. 8/
I am particularly wary about what a Biden administration would do on natural gas fracking, which is mostly absent here. The plan says: "Requiring aggressive methane pollution limits for new and existing oil and gas operations.” Okay…How aggressive? What is the plan, exactly? 9/
Given methane levels are going up globally, and no one knows why, I want to know @JoeBiden stance on fracking. wired.com/story/atmosphe… 10/
It’s true that this plan focuses more on innovation than other plans, a topic that has bipartisan support. He proposes an ARPA-C. Great idea! Now: how big would it be, exactly? ARPA-E hasn’t even scaled up to the levels it needs to. 11/
Plus the technologies he’s pushing for innovation--cheap modular nuclear, carbon capture plants--are very far away from the commercial market. I’m open to these things, but I am also concerned about cost and timelines. How would we scale them up fast enough? Plan??? 12/
For the first time, we’ve seen the Biden team use the phrase “Green New Deal” - referencing it ONCE in this plan. Okay, what's the relation, exactly? Can't say I see it. If we use the @ProfBurger criteria, this is no GND. 13/ washingtonpost.com/outlook/2019/0…
On climate, Biden exaggerates his record. He knew about climate change in the 1980s, yet did little in the intervening 3 decades to stop it. This exaggeration of his record is a common pattern for Biden--he's overstated his civil rights work, too. 14/ nytimes.com/2019/06/03/us/…
Dear @JoeBiden, if you need to go back to the 1980s for your signature move on climate, you’re not a climate champion. There are millions of people around the world BORN after the 1980s doing more than you on climate, like, oh, I don’t know…@GretaThunberg
The plan calls for increasing CAFE standards, which is funny, because while in office he voted against doing this not once, not twice, not three times…but FIVE TIMES. As Emerson would put it, “what you do speaks so loudly, I cannot hear what you say.” eenews.net/stories/106011… 16/
The plan also includes the world’s least ambitious target: doubling offshore wind by 2030. So in 11 years, we’ll go from one 30 MW project to two projects that combined are less than one onshore wind project? WOW! (Even if we include planned projects, this isn’t ambitious…) 17/
Biden is still the only major candidate who is refusing the take the #NoFossilFuelMoney pledge. There's evidence his PAC is still taking lots of corporate money, including from fossil fuel lobbyists. 18/ theintercept.com/2019/05/06/joe…
"And, Vice President Biden has committed that Biden for President will not accept contributions from oil, gas and coal corporations or executives." Glad he clarified which entity --"Biden for President" -- won't take that money. What about your PAC, "American Possibilities"?
In summary: This ain’t a Green New Deal. This ain’t a #NoFossilFuelMoney pledge. This ain’t a visionary plan for climate stability. @JoeBiden step up your game because I'm planning to live a few more decades. We need a President who gets the climate crisis. So far, Biden doesn't.
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