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Natural Resources & Energy

Biden's Energy Plan Is Ambitious, But Environmental Groups Push For More



Environmental groups are hoping to see action on climate, energy, and environmental justice when President-elect Joe Biden takes office in January.

Biden will be starting the job with the most expansive climate plan a presidential administration has ever had.

Biden's plan calls for net-zero emissions by 2050 and a $400 billion investment in renewable and clean technologies. The plan aims to create 10 million new jobs and hold corporate executives responsible for the pollution produced by their companies.

It's a dramatic reversal of the Trump Administration's policies, which rolled back numerous regulations.

John Morton, now working for the advisory and investment firm Pollination Group, was Former President Obama's senior director for energy and climate change. He said the widespread nature of Biden's plan is its strength.

"That makes it seem very ambitious, which of course it is," Morton said. "But it also treats climate change the way it deserves to be treated, which is as the centerpiece of an integral set of solutions and opportunities."

Morton said he hopes the plan can see some success, even if Biden faces a divided government, which is still a possibility. He added there are Republicans who see the value of clean energy development and the jobs that come with it.

Groups such as the Indigenous Environmental Network and the Climate Justice Alliance are excited about the new administration. But Dallas Goldtooth, a member of both, said the struggle is not over.

"The baseline is we are obviously expecting something better than Trump," Goldtooth said. "But we are also fully aware that the Biden Administration is going to continue to need a little bit more nudging in the right direction to truly address the climate chaos that we're seeing."

Goldtooth said his organization is pushing to make environmental justice a focus of future climate action. That means thinking about and prioritizing the communities most affected by fossil fuel extraction and the effects of climate change.

"We all cherish this land so we need to work together to protect it for the next several generations of life," Goldtooth said. "That's what we're doing, that's what our whole mission is about. We hope to see that with the Biden Administration."

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