- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Sen. Cory A. Booker on Tuesday unveiled a $3 trillion plan to combat climate change with a goal of building a “carbon neutral” economy by 2045.

The plan includes a $1.5 trillion investment in clean energy, energy storage and electric vehicles by 2030 and $400 billion for research and development by 2030, among other priorities.

“We are facing a dual crisis of climate change and economic inequality,” said Mr. Booker, a 2020 presidential candidate. “Without immediate action, we risk an incredible human toll from disasters, health impacts, rising national security threats, and trillions of dollars in economic losses.”

Mr. Booker’s campaign said the plan includes “the most sweeping investment to advance environmental justice in history,” as he and other 2020 contenders jockey for position on who has the most far-reaching plan to tackle climate change — an issue that’s taken center stage in the race for the White House.

His plan calls for an “environmental justice fund” seeded with $50 billion per year that would go toward helping communities replace lead drinking water service lines, cleaning up abandoned coal mines and planting 100 million trees in urban areas by 2030, among other priorities.

Authorities say they’ve found elevated lead levels in the water supply in Newark, New Jersey, where Mr. Booker was mayor from 2006-2013, and have tied the problem to leaching in the pipe system.

The senator’s plan would also require “responsible” paint companies to pay for cleanup caused by lead paint.

His new plan would also impose a carbon fee on fossil fuel sources, with some of the money raised going toward helping offset increased energy costs for low-to-middle income households.

Mr. Booker’s campaign said that even if Congress doesn’t act, he would take executive action to increase federal enforcement actions against polluting companies, reinstate vehicle emissions standards the Trump administration has moved to change and stop giving waivers to “big oil” companies to help them get around the Renewable Fuel Standard.

Mr. Booker would also push to end fossil fuel subsidies, ban all new onshore or offshore fossil fuel leases, and phase out fracking.

The senator announced the plan as he and nine other 2020 presidential contenders prepare to participate in a “climate crisis” town hall event hosted by CNN on Wednesday in New York.

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