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Opinion How Biden could upend a key perception of his presidency

Julian Zelizer: Biden made grand promises as a candidate but found his agenda stymied in a divided Congress. Biden's campaign climate plan was similar to those of many of the other Democrats he ran against in the 2020 primary, Zelizer says. He says the bill is almost all carrots and no sticks; it offers tax credits for electric vehicles, energy efficient homes, grants and credits to promote the use of renewables in energy production and manufacturing, and things it would “promote.” Zelizer writes. Biden may be able to say that on climate change, he’s making good progress toward keeping his campaign promises, he says. But in this case, ‘sort of’ is not too bad. Some of this kind of project is that some of these programs will probably prove ineffective.

If a candidate takes executive and legislative action that follows through on dozens of climate change ideas, it's fair to say that he ought to get credit. This will be the work of multiple presidents and multiple Congresses, Julian Zelizer says.