Democratic presidential hopeful Jay Inslee, as part of his pledge to make combating climate change the top national priority, is calling for the nation’s entire electrical grid and all new vehicles and buildings to be carbon pollution free by 2030.
It’s the first major policy proposal from the Washington governor as he tries to gain a foothold in a field of more than 20 candidates.
The plan, the first piece of a series of climate action proposals from Inslee, would represent a national shift from coal-powered plants and traditional fuel engines in vehicles, while requiring an overhaul in the way most buildings are heated and cooled. Inslee’s outline would require legislation and executive action, some of it similar to what Inslee has pushed during his six-plus years as governor, but on a scale not seen at the federal level.
Inslee, who announced his campaign in March, has not yet attached a public or private cost estimate for a wide-ranging approach that would involve some direct federal spending, tax subsidies, and outlays by utilities and the private sector. He argues that doing nothing would cost more and that investments in clean energy will create millions of jobs to spur the economy, with that developing market and targeted government programs ensuring a stable transition for existing coal workers.