October 6, 2020
Biden’s Day One Climate Plan: More Mandates, Little Innovation
As part of his plan to address climate change, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has released a list of executive actions he would take immediately upon taking office. Despite Biden’s overall plan emphasizing innovation, the executive actions are heavy on mandates but light on incentives for the needed innovation and commercialization of new technologies, writes AAF’s Director of Energy Policy Ewelina Czapla in a new analysis.
Biden’s proposal rightfully states that transportation is the fastest growing contributor of greenhouse gases. Yet even here the day one proposals do not focus on innovation; the transportation-relevant provisions of Biden’s plan provide an example of the proposal’s frequent reliance on government mandates. To address these emissions, Biden’s executive orders call for modifying the renewable fuel standard as well as the Clean Air Act’s regulatory scheme to include regulations requiring the sale of 100 percent electrified light and medium-duty vehicles. It does not suggest a timeline for the implementation of these rules. Unfortunately, these mandates rely on expanding existing regulatory regimes and have driven up costs in the past while simultaneously being subject to changes by each administration and uneven implementation with waivers for industry.