WASHINGTON — Washington Governor and 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Jay Inslee released the second installment of his Climate Mission plan Thursday, focused on creating millions of clean energy jobs.
Inslee billed the proposal as a boon to workers, estimating it would create 8 million jobs over 10 years. Over that same period of time it would cost the federal government $3 trillion, with a goal of spurring an additional $6 trillion in related investments.
The 38-page plan consists of 28 individual policy proposals, ranging from a new “Rebuild America” program that would recruit workers to make existing buildings more efficient to a “Green Bank” that would invest in clean energy projects and a fivefold increase in funding for new energy technology. The plan also seeks to ensure "good union jobs" and to support communities on the front-lines of damage from climate change.
Inslee spent the day Wednesday touring flood damage in Eastern Iowa, and on Thursday will highlight his plan with an event in Washington, D.C. at a water treatment plant.
Other elements of his "Evergreen Economy" plan include: doubling federal funding for public transit, a clean water program, funding for rural energy, and a mix of grants and tax credits to encourage businesses and individuals to make use of solar power and other renewable energy sources. It includes a plan to guarantee pensions and health care for coal workers and to retrain and hire them to work in new careers or on regional projects like environmental cleanup.
The plan did not say how it would be paid for. Inslee spokesman Jamal Raad told NBC News there were “lots of ways to generate revenue” but “the real costly route would be inaction.”
Inslee released the first part of his national clean energy plan in early May, outlining a set of benchmarks that would move the U.S. to clean, renewable and zero-emission energy by 2035, end coal-fired power plant operations by 2030, and implement zero-carbon standards for new vehicles and buildings.
And while Inslee launched his presidential bid with climate change as his signature issue, other candidates in the 2020 race have also taken up the mantle. For example, former Texas Congressman Beto O'Rourke recently proposed a $5 trillion plan to combat climate change.
In the crowded field of Democrats hoping to eventually take on President Donald Trump, Inslee has sought to differentiate himself by being the climate-minded candidate who will prioritize combatting global warming above all else should he be elected president.