Democratic presidential candidate and Washington Governor Jay Inslee on Thursday announced a $9 trillion plan aimed at creating millions of green jobs. Inslee's "Evergreen Economy Plan," his second major policy announcement focused on addressing climate change, aims to make major investments in transportation infrastructure and clean energy research.
"This plan will produce not only 8 million jobs, but good-paying union jobs," Inslee said in an interview with CBS News. "We have no other choice but to have a full mobilization of an evergreen economy."
Coming two weeks after his first proposal, which would put the U.S. on a path to 100 percent clean energy by 2030, Inslee's green jobs plan calls for a $3 trillion federal investment over 10 years, which the campaign says would leverage an additional $6 trillion private and public investment during the same time frame. This would include at least $300 billion in average annual federal spending in "American industries and manufacturing, infrastructure, skilled labor and new technology."
Inslee also wants to prioritize investments in low-income communities that his campaign says are most vulnerable to disasters thought to be related to climate change, in part because their infrastructure wasn't built to withstand weather extremes.
During a tour of areas that saw heavy damage from massive Midwest flooding in Davenport, Iowa, Inslee announced a plan – in tandem with the "Evergreen Economy Plan," that included $7.8 billion for inland waterway infrastructure improvements. Inslee's campaign estimates this investment would create over 147,000 jobs.
The plan includes a "G.I. Bill" for displaced workers in the fossil fuel industry. This provision would make employees and contractors of fossil fuel companies eligible for income support and educational training stipends.
In an effort to strengthen unions, the plan calls for ending right-to-work laws in states and amending the National Labor Relations Act to "expand opportunities for industry-wide collective bargaining."