Written by Daniel Maloney (News Writer)
With Joe Biden’s recent win in the presidential election, he has put out what his plans are regarding climate change and the economy, with big promises such as ensuring the United States reaches net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, and to bring back around 11 million jobs. Doing this may be challenging for a new Biden administration as there is a 50-48 republican lead in the Senate, meaning even if the two unknown seats are won by Democrats, all Democrats would need to vote in favor of a bill so the vote is a tie and the vice president, Kamala Harris could break it.
Biden’s boldest part of his climate plan is to reach net-zero emissions by the year 2050. Meaning that any carbon emissions are equaled by absorbing it from the atmosphere. This will be done by investing in the manufacturing of around half a million electric cars, financial incentives for buying electric cars, and charging areas for those cars, among many other things. Biden also plans to re-join the Paris Climate Agreement, an agreement within the United Nations dealing with the mitigation of climate change, after the Trump administration withdrew from the agreement on his first day of office. Biden additionally plans on many other things such as further limiting methane pollution for oil and gas operations, implementing new fuel economy standards, and using the Federal government procurement system to go towards clean energy vehicles. Biden will likely have to use executive orders to pass a lot of these, which may cause problems in and of itself but, a Pew Research Center survey showed republicans aged 18 to 39 are more likely to agree that climate change is human-caused in almost a two-to-one majority, meaning that may sway the interests of some GOP senators.
As for the economy, Biden plans to bring back around 11 million jobs lost due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. One way this will be done by making a 10% tax increase on companies who use offshore manufacturing, leading to many companies coming back to the United States for manufacturing, leading to more jobs. Additionally, he is proposing $7.3 trillion in new spending towards helping Americans buy and rent homes, investing in research and development to make more manufacturing, and many more things. But many economists say these are unlikely to happen or work and are just campaigning promises.
One major problem and huge setback in Biden’s plan is that the Senate is likely not going to be a Democrat majority. This would make Biden use executive orders, similar to what both Trump and Obama did when they were in office. But, a weakness to the executive approach is that it is very open and prone to legal challenges by the Supreme Court. This happened to Obama when he had tried to implement climate policy and was blocked by the Supreme Court, and with the recent confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barret, there is a 6-3 conservative-leaning in the court, leading to any verdict likely not favoring Biden.