Speed Reads

step one

Beto O'Rourke's first official policy plan is a doozy

Brace yourselves. Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O'Rourke is now officially on the policy train.

The early stages of O'Rourke's campaign were considered to be largely about optics, leading to some criticism that the former congressman from Texas was more style than substance. But on Monday, O'Rourke released a four-pillar bill proposal to fight climate change just before a tour of Yosemite National Park. Based on the price tag alone, it appears to be one of the most ambitious policy proposals on any issue announced by a 2020 candidate so far.

The bill, CNN reports, would be the very first thing O'Rourke would send to Congress as president. It would call for investing $5 trillion over 10 years in climate-friendly infrastructure and innovation, setting a goal to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, which is in line with the well-known Green New Deal. Though CNBC reports the financial aspect of the plan differs from the Green New Deal in that O'Rourke's proposal hopes to spark private spending, as opposed to being fully funded by the government. That said, the bill would reportedly rely on "changes to the tax code" that would ensure corporations — most notably fossil fuel companies — and wealthy pay their "fair share."

The policy plan also includes O'Rourke enacting several "forceful" executive orders to curb pollution across the country and re-entering the Paris Agreement.

The final aspect of the plan is to help states, territories, and tribal nations in particularly vulnerable areas fight against potential natural disasters such as forest fires, floods, droughts, and hurricanes. Read the plan here.