“Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) surprise embrace of a historic $369 billion climate bill Wednesday night could set the US on a path to reduce planet-warming emissions 40 percent compared with 2005 levels by decade’s end. And, he says, combat inflation,” according to Politico’s Arianna Skibell. If Democrats pass the bill, which they can do with a simple majority, it would be the biggest and most consequential legislative step ever taken by Congress to address the climate crisis.
“While the package’s projected climate benefits wouldn’t quite reach President Joe Biden’s goal of cutting carbon pollution in half by 2030, it would be a significant step. Without it, the country is on track to cut emissions only 24 to 35 percent — far less than scientists say is needed to avert the worst of catastrophic warming.”
The bill would be part of a wide-ranging reconciliation measure. It would reward consumers with tax credits for buying electric vehicles and electric heating and air conditioning systems, boost domestic manufacturing of batteries and solar panels, penalize fossil fuel companies for excess methane emissions, and invest in cleaning up communities disproportionately exposed to high levels of toxic air pollution.
The package also offers multiple wins for fossil fuel development, which many environmentalists — though not all — are choosing to overlook given the plethora of renewable investments. The bill would mandate offshore oil and gas lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and off the coast of Alaska and reward existing nuclear power plants and carbon capture and storage technology.