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Warren's New $2 Trillion Green Manufacturing Plan Welcomed as 'Win-Win' for Climate and Workers

Politics
Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren speaks during a campaign stop at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia on May 16. MANDEL NGAN / AFP / Getty Images

By Jessica Corbett

As new polling showed Tuesday that public support for Sen. Elizabeth Warren's presidential campaign has continued to rise as she's introduced a series of ambitious policy proposals, the Democratic candidate unveiled a $2 trillion renewable energy and green manufacturing plan welcomed by climate campaigners as a boon for both the planet and U.S. workers.


"With this plan, Elizabeth Warren is seizing the enormous opportunity that transitioning to 100 percent clean energy represents for people across the country," Greenpeace USA senior climate campaigner Jack Shapiro said in a statement. "The renewable energy economy is a win-win for our climate and communities, and should be at the core of any plan to create jobs and spur innovation."

In a Medium post published Tuesday, Warren detailed her green manufacturing plan, which she described as "part of how I'll implement my commitment to a Green New Deal" and just the first of several proposals under her new economic patriotism agenda.

Noting that "over the next decade, the expected market for clean energy technology in emerging economies alone is $23 trillion," Warren wrote that she hopes to enable the United States to dominate that market by developing, manufacturing, and exporting "the technology the world needs to confront the existential threat of climate change."

To achieve market dominance, she explained, the U.S. government would use revenue from her proposed Real Corporate Profits Tax to "invest $2 trillion over the next 10 years in green research, manufacturing, and exporting — linking American innovation directly to American jobs, and helping achieve the ambitious targets of the Green New Deal."

Warren's green manufacturing plan has three parts:

  • The Green Apollo Program would commit "$400 billion in funding over the next 10 years for clean energy research and development — more than 10 times what we invested in the last 10 years."
  • The Green Industrial Mobilization would involve "a $1.5 trillion federal procurement commitment over the next 10 years to purchase American-made clean, renewable, and emission-free energy products for federal, state, and local use, and for export."
  • The Green Marshall Plan would include the creation of "a new federal office dedicated to selling American-made clean, renewable, and emission-free energy technology abroad and a $100 billion commitment to assisting countries to purchase and deploy this technology."

"The climate crisis demands immediate and bold action," Warren wrote, reiterating her support for a fair and just transition that's called for in the Green New Deal resolution introduced in Congress earlier this year.

Referencing the World War II era, she added, "Like we have before, we should bank on American ingenuity and American workers to lead the global effort to face down this threat — and create more than a million good jobs here at home."

The youth-led Sunrise Movement, in a series of tweets, said Warren's plan "shows clearly that she understands the frame of the #GreenNewDeal, the lessons from our history it draws upon, and that she is committed to mobilizing the federal government towards the scale of its ambition if elected."

In a statement, Tamara Toles O'Laughlin, the North America director for 350 Action, praised "the international focus of her plan, the acknowledgement of the United States's disproportionate pollution, and the commitment to aiding underinvested countries that are already suffering from the climate crisis as a critical part of America's responsibility to the world."

The green manufacturing plan, according to Warren, is the first of many plans she intends to unveil in the coming weeks that fall under her broader "agenda of economic patriotism," which she described as "using new and existing tools to defend and create quality American jobs and promote American industry."

One of the other ways Warren would pursue this agenda is by creating a new federal agency, the Department of Economic Development, which would "replace the Commerce Department, subsume other agencies like the Small Business Administration and the Patent and Trademark Office, and include research and development programs, worker training programs, and export and trade authorities like the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative."

Warren outlined her vision of economic patriotism in a video posted on social media Tuesday:

Zach Carter, in a piece for HuffPost Tuesday, pointed out that Warren's broad economic platform follows a series of "ambitious, meticulously detailed" plans on everything from breaking up big tech giants like Amazon and Google to forgiving student debt and establishing universal childcare. However, he argued, the economic platform that she discussed in Detroit Tuesday "is a little different."

The Massachusetts Democrat's economic agenda for the nation "retains Warren's wonk-flair," Carter wrote, "but the heart of her proposal is ideological rather than technical. Warren is making a crystal-clear statement of principles, and an equally plain break with the past 30 years of American trade policy ― up to and including the presidency of Donald Trump."

The presidential hopeful's "astonishing plan for economic patriotism" was celebrated by Robert Kuttner, co-founder and co-editor of The American Prospect, as "in a class by itself, even for Warren."

"Warren's proposal does nothing less than turn inside out the globalist assumptions pursued by the past several administrations, Democrat and Republican alike," Kuttner wrote Tuesday. "With this plan, Warren has begun an overdue debate that she deserves to win, both intellectually and politically. And she has demonstrated once again her potential as a powerful force against Donald Trump."

Reposted with permission from our media associate Common Dreams.

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