2020 Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren announced a plan on Wednesday that would steer taxpayer dollars to fight 'environmental injustice' by helping poor communities grapple with the effects of climate change and pollution, according to Bloomberg.
By injecting racism into the climate debate, Warren's plan goes far beyond the Green New Deal championed by Bernie Sanders by allocating resources to bolster environmental plans at the federal and local levels, as well as "improving existing data to better prepare at-risk areas and punishing polluters," whatever that means.
"From predominantly black neighborhoods in Detroit to Navajo communities in the southwest to Louisiana’s Cancer Alley," reads a campaign announcement (note the shout-out to the Navajos after the Cherokee Nation slammed Warren for lying about being a Native American in order to advance her career).
According to the statement, "industrial pollution has been concentrated in low-income communities for decades -- communities that the federal government has tacitly written off as so-called ‘sacrifice zones.’"
Warren is virtually tied with former Vice President Joe Biden for first place among Democratic 2020 candidates, with around 26% support. Sanders, who just had a heart attack, is in a distant third at 14.6% according to Bloomberg.
Warren’s plan calls for creating a Council on Climate Action with a mandate to pursue the goal of environmental justice.
It would strengthen programs and restore funding to the Environmental Protection Agency that was cut by President Donald Trump’s administration. The EPA’s National Environmental Justice Advisory Council would be elevated and report directly to the White House, and all federal agencies would be required to consider climate when making decisions. -Bloomberg
"Climate action needs to be mainstreamed in everything the federal government does," according to the Warren plan, which also proposes EPA mapping of said 'endangered' areas, while better using that data to better gauge how climate change is supposedly affecting said areas.
Warren's previous climate plans have proposed transitioning to "Green Manufacturing," as well as a "100% Clean Energy Plan," which would involve $400 billion in energy R&D. She has vowed to provide job training (i.e. learn to code), wage, and benefit guarantees to workers in fossil fuel industries who would be displaced by the transition to clean energy. Warren has also called for harsh punishments for polluters - previously proposing hefty fines for corporations that pollute as defined in her Climate Risk Disclosure Act.
The new plan also plan reiterates her proposal to “hold the finance industry accountable for its role in climate change” by requiring banks and other companies to “disclose their greenhouse gas emissions and price their exposure to climate risk into their valuations.” -Bloomberg
Meanwhile, Kamala Harris, who appears to have little chance of winning the Democratic nomination, has proposed legislation with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) which would expand on the Green New Deal's framework to steer federal resources to fighting climate change in low-income communities.