Joe Biden’s campaign released a comprehensive climate proposal on Tuesday, but instead of discussing the measures meant to address climate change, the campaign was instead put on the defensive over allegations that parts of the plan appeared to be plagiarized from existing climate documents.
The proposal released by Biden’s presidential campaign appeared to have large sections lifted from the websites and letters of other organizations, Business Insider reported. The instances of potential plagiarism were spotted within hours of the plan being released, with some showing that entire paragraphs were taken almost word-for-word.
Business Insider listed one of the instances when Biden’s proposal appeared to lift directly from a letter that Kim Glas, executive director of the Blue Green Alliance, sent to a Senate committee back in 2017.
Biden’s website read the following.
“Carbon capture, use, and storage (CCUS) is a rapidly growing technology that has the potential to create economic benefits for multiple industries while significantly reducing carbon dioxide emissions.”
The letter contained nearly identical wording.
“Carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) is a rapidly growing technology that has potential to create economic benefits for multiple industries while significantly reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.”
There were several other instances of wording lifted almost directly from the source material. A representative for Biden’s campaign told Business Insider that “several citations” were inadvertently left out of the final document, and those were added in as the campaign was made aware of it.
The controversy over the potential plagiarism also drew attention away from the proposal itself, which adopted the framework of the Green New Deal.
Joe Biden is embracing the framework of the Green New Deal in his new climate plan and calling for:
* Spending $1.7 trillion in clean energy
* Net-zero emissions goal by 2050
* Rejoining the Paris climate accord
* Promising aggressive efficiency standardshttps://t.co/JxCrlirPmU
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) June 4, 2019
Joe Biden’s political career has been hit by allegations of plagiarism in the past. The Delaware Senator dropped out of the 1988 presidential race after being hit by allegations that he plagiarized some speeches and that he had also admitted to plagiarism in writing a legal brief while in law school.
Seen at the time as one of the rising stars within the Democratic Party, Biden would not run for president for another 10 years, when he failed in his 2008 bid for the Democratic nomination before being selected as the running mate for Barack Obama.
It was not clear if the allegations would put a dent into Joe Biden’s lead over the large field of potential Democratic candidates. Biden had maintained double-digit leads over the next-closest contender in a series of polls and has also shown significant leads in key early states like South Carolina, though Vox noted that these state polls show closer races for Biden in some areas.