Bernie Sanders Says Biden’s Infrastructure Plan Doesn’t Go Far Enough on Climate

“Irreparable damage to our planet.”

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaking at a hearing of the Senate Budget Committee. Michael Brochstein/AP

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

Bernie Sanders, echoing other progressives that occupy his end of the political spectrum, said Sunday that President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan is a good start but that he doesn’t think “it goes far enough in terms of climate.”

“The truth is, as everybody knows, the scientists tell us we have a handful of years in front of us in order to transform our energy system away from fossil fuel, or we’re going to face awful crises in terms of irreparable damage to our planet,” the senator from Vermont told MSNBC in a teaser for a segment that will air tonight. “And when we do that, we can create millions of good-paying jobs.”

Sanders is certainly not alone in his assessment. As my colleagues Rebecca Leber and Kara Voght wrote earlier this week analyzing the plan:

But exactly how any of these promises come together is to be determined. A senior White House official told reporters on Tuesday night that Biden’s proposal is the “beginning of a conversation with Congress and the American people.” Many details on precisely how these ideas could become reality have been left intentionally vague in order to give lawmakers the opportunity to negotiate the specifics. The fault lines over those negotiations have already hardened. The Democratic Party’s left flank has argued that the $2 trillion plan doesn’t spend nearly enough to address the crises the country faces. Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said the package “should be substantially larger,” noting Biden had committed to $2 trillion in climate investment alone as a candidate. Republicans, meanwhile, oppose both massive spending and the taxes on corporations the White House has proposed to pay for its plan.

Democrats will face pressure from climate and racial justice advocates to meet the unprecedented, intertwined crises the country faces. “We can’t wait to invest in the Black, brown and Indigenous communities hit the hardest by these crises, and we can’t wait until the next climate disaster tears our lives apart,” Working Families Party National Director Maurice Mitchell said in a statement. “Millions of us are depending on Congress to take this once-in-a-generation opportunity and deliver the jobs, care and justice we so urgently need, and we intend to make them deliver.”

IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. It's our first time asking for an outpouring of support since screams of FAKE NEWS and so much of what Trump stood for made everything we do so visceral. Like most newsrooms, we face incredibly hard budget realities, and it's unnerving needing to raise big money when traffic is down.

So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

payment methods

IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate