It may seem like a squishy fossil fuel timeline for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, but the fact that there is even a timeline for moving away from oil and gas is a factor for major swing states nearing the November 3rd election final.
He has advanced a $ 2 trillion plan to boost investment in what he believes is job-producing clean energy, and aims to eliminate all climate-damaging emissions from the US economy by 2050. The plan has always implied that it would wean the US off oil and gas in order to accomplish such goals.
However, the succinct promise of “transition away” turned out to be one of the bigger aspects of the debate.
President Trump, lagging behind in many national and battlefield polls, threw himself.
"Basically, he's saying he's going to destroy the oil industry," Trump said on Thursday. “Will you remember that, Texas? Do you remember Pennsylvania? Oklahoma? Ohio?"
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Greg Abbott, a Republican from Texas, tweeted, “Joe just wants to get away from Texas. Remember that on election day.
And Rep. Kendra Horn, a Democrat who moved a Republican seat to Trump-loyal Oklahoma in 2018, tweeted: "We have to stand up for our oil and gas industry."
Biden told reporters after the debate that he was not talking about any fossil fuel ban.
"We haven't been getting rid of fossil fuels for a long time," he said, according to the Associated Press.
The Trump team has maintained throughout the campaign that Biden has pledged to ban fracking. Biden's only position on the controversial drilling practice that has created jobs and strengthened US energy independence, but poses an environmental risk, was that he does not favor new wells on state. Most fracking operations take place on private land.
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Analysts highlighted pretty big differences in a head-to-head comparison of the climate change candidates as the November 3rd elections approached and when other major economies, including China, came up with a climate change blueprint that the U.S. may have to leave its own Proposal that will focus on trade, security and more in the years to come.
Here's a closer look at the candidates' records on climate change.
Big gap on climate change. The subject was expected to be absent from the series of questions slated for the initial debate between Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden, even as California wildfires re-emerged, the severity of which was determined by most experts on drought and other weather extremes was established. And while the private sector is pushing its own net zero carbon plans without federal leadership.
During the initial debate, moderator Chris Wallace urged Trump to pull the US out of the voluntary Paris international climate agreement and its withdrawal of Obama-era environmental measures (some of the dropped regulations date before Obama).
"I want crystal clear water and air, we have the lowest carbon content now … if you look at our numbers, we're doing phenomenally now," Trump replied. He called the Paris Agreement a “catastrophe” and reiterated that the historic forest fires in the west in recent years were due to poor forest management. “The forest floor is laden with dead trees. You drop a cigarette there, the whole forest is burning down, ”he said. Only more than half of California's forests are state-managed land.
"But sir, if you believe in the science of climate change, why did you roll back the Obama Clean Power Plan, which limits CO2 emissions from power plants?" Wallace pressed. "Because it drives energy prices through the sky," Trump replied. "Why did you relax fuel consumption standards?" Wallace asked. "You speak of a tiny difference," said Trump.
Most analysts said it was the longest public exchange on climate change that Trump could remember.
"For the first time, President Trump acknowledged that human activity was at least partially responsible for climate change," the American Conservation Coalition, a conservative environmental group, said in a statement.
For his part, Biden used the debate time to advance his $ 2 trillion green boost plan. "Nobody will build another coal-fired power plant in America. They will switch to renewable energies," said the former vice president.
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As has been the tactic throughout the debate, the president stepped in when Biden spoke, challenging that the price of the climate change proposal put forward by the Democrat was much higher and the plan more on the Green New Deal put forward by the progressive arm of the United States set up a party.
"Not true," replied Biden.
Accept science: Describing the difference between the two candidates often begins with an acceptance of the factors behind rising emissions, extreme temperatures and droughts, and rising sea levels threatening the coasts. While it is true that science is advancing, Trump has repeatedly called human-made climate change a "joke" but softened that language. He said "science doesn't know" what lies ahead.
He and his supporters have emphasized the importance of keeping fossil fuels in the energy mix to keep operating and transportation costs down for businesses and households and to help the US maintain a newly strengthened position as an oil and natural gas exporter, which they claim to deserve a valuable position against geopolitical heavyweights Saudi Arabia and Russia. In addition, the government and its supporters are concerned that US efforts to contain its own pollution in developing countries are falling short. This was cited as a factor when Trump pulled the US out of the Paris climate agreement.
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Trump's position on climate change may be less important than the composition of Congress after the elections.
Some Republican lawmakers have tried to move away from outright opposition to climate change by pushing for a "mix of clean energy" that comes from multiple sources. Therefore, it is unclear what Trump re-election could mean for energy policy, including clean energy initiatives, in the next Congress. Washington Republican Dan Newhouse wrote for the Wenatchee World Empire Press: "We still have to work to secure our nation's energy independence and clean energy future, but a bright future lies ahead."
And the recently concluded National Clean Energy Week was a rallying point for the authors of the American Energy Innovation Act, a package of more than 50 energy-related bills reviewed by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and compiled by the Republican chairman of the committee. Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski and senior member Joe Manchin, a moderate Democrat from West Virginia, said in a press release.
Biden, who calls climate change an "existential threat," said the scientific community has a huge role to play in shaping policy. He would urge the US to rejoin its global counterparts in a bid to turn back the clock on climate change.
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Comprehensive plan: Biden announced a $ 2 trillion plan to create million jobs and achieve 100% clean electricity by 2035. That goal seemed more realistic as solar and wind prices became competitive with traditional energy sources over the past decade. Biden has adopted parts of the Green New Deal framework set up by the Democratic Party's most progressive arm, but not all.
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Biden has called for net-zero emissions by 2050 and supports the "Clean Cars for America" plan, a promise he made earlier this year but following California Governor Gavin Newsom's announcement that new cars will be sold to cease gasoline-powered passengers, again emphasizing cars and trucks in this influential state by 2035.
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The Trump administration has not presented a specific plan to deal with the climate crisis, and environmentalists have resented the reversal of around 100 environmental laws, some decades-old regulations passed between administrations of both political parties. For example, Trump will open the 30-million-acre Arctic refuge to drilling for the first time after more than 30 years of lobbying the oil industry for such access.
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Trump has expanded the rules that restrict offshore drilling in Florida.
The fracking fracas: One of the main political points for Biden was his stance on allowing or even maintaining new or even existing oil wells, including fracking, with an emphasis on the swing state of Pennsylvania and its resource-dependent economy. Critical advertisements have claimed Biden, a native of Pennsylvania, would ban fracking; The candidate says this is not true, that he would only ban new fracking on public land and water. Most of the fracking occurs on private land, but it can affect nearby land. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette editors say state voters remain confused about where the candidate is on fracking.
As part of the coronavirus response, Trump pushed for a tax bill that grossed the fossil fuel industry a break of $ 25 billion. He has not expressed any plans to curb fossil fuel subsidies. Biden says he has a plan to end the estimated $ 20 billion the U.S. spends annually on fossil fuel subsidies.
“They want to bury our economy under a $ 2 trillion Green New Deal. (They) want to get rid of fossil fuels and ban fracking, which would cost hundreds of thousands of American jobs across the heartland, ”Pence said in his debate, answering a debate question not on climate change but on post-COVID-19 recovery.
"I'll repeat, and the American people know Joe Biden will not ban fracking," replied Harris. "That's a fact."
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Revised carbon tax: Another controversial environmental point is the allocation of a federal price or a "tax", depending on who is in control of the language, on carbon. Influential Group CEO Business Roundtable has just released a number of market-driven positions on climate change, including carbon pricing.
Attempts to create a national cap-and-trade market to introduce buyers and sellers to share the carbon footprint have largely failed in recent decades. At the start of the Trump administration, it was reported that Vice President Mike Pence had met with business executives about a carbon tax, but more recently the president has not mentioned the issue overall.
As part of a party platform, Democrats have generally been in favor of such a tax, but most reports show that Biden is less likely to make it a priority.
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Environmental justice: This year, Trump weakened the national environmental protection law, a law that allows color communities to contribute to major polluting projects and pipelines being built in their neighborhood, according to left-wing advocacy group Climate Power 2020. Trump has tried to enforce to prevent environmental justice at the EPA. Its administration says these regulations are both expensive and difficult to enforce.
The Biden ticket received higher scores for environmental justice, according to political analysts, when Sen. Kamala Harris of California was named a vice-presidential candidate. She has pointed out how important it is to always include social justice in the environmental framework.
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