Progressives Want Biden’s Infrastructure Plan to Include $10T for Climate

Progressive lawmakers and environmentalists have reportedly urged President Joe Biden to use the coming infrastructure package to finance parts of their radical Green New Deal.

The Green New Deal Network – a group of 15 national climate organizations – is pressuring Biden to “incorporate the entirety of the THRIVE Agenda” into his infrastructure package, The Washington Free Beacon reported on Wednesday.

THRIVE was introduced in February by Sen. Ed Markey, D.-Mass., who called on Biden to include the proposal in any future economic plan. THRIVE contains idealistic climate goals, including a carbon-free electric grid by 2035.

Markey’s proposal — the full name of which is the Transform, Heal, and Renew by Investing in a Vibrant Economy Agenda — calls for $10 trillion in public spending to achieve “real full employment” and “reshape our society” through government jobs.

Biden’s entire infrastructure bill reportedly will cost $2.25 trillion.

THRIVE’s price tag would be more than five times as much as Democrats’ COVID-19 relief plan.

Markey and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., sponsored a Green New Deal early in 2019 but the legislation stalled in the Senate.

But now the Senate is evenly split among party lines, there’s a Democrat vice president who casts the tie-breaking vote, and a president more friendly toward major environmental reform.

Biden was expected to announce his infrastructure bill details, including record spending on climate change, on Wednesday.

Although Biden did not formally support the Green New Deal during his campaign, members of the administration have been strong backers of environmental reform. As a congresswoman in September, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland introduced a version of the THRIVE Agenda, and several current White House staffers previously worked closely with the groups pressuring Biden to adopt the proposal.