What the Senate inflation bill will mean for climate initiatives

After months and months of failure on a climate and tax bill from Senate Democrats, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) last week announced a surprise deal with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) which addresses climate change, cutting prescription drug costs, tax loops used by corporations and the wealthy, and cutting the $300 billion US deficit, CNBC reported.

The latest known holdout, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Arizona), officially announced her support for the bill after the removal of deferred interest tax provisions that were intended to close tax loopholes that allow wealthy investment managers and hedge fund managers to pay reduced taxes. The bill is set to go to the Senate on Saturday afternoon, where it will pass under reconciliation, meaning it will only ask the 50 Senate Democrats to vote for it, with Vice President Kamala Harris voting in the event. of equality.

The Cut Inflation Act contains the most sweeping climate change initiatives ever taken by the U.S. government and will create billions of dollars in tax incentives to help grow America’s solar, wind, and energy industries. , geothermal, batteries and clean energy over the next decade. NY Times.

It’s a bill that “keeps us in the fight against climate change and empowers executive action, state and local government policies, and private sector leadership to get us over the line.” arrival,” said Jesse Jenkins of Princeton University, who has worked on earlier models. versions of the bill, told the NYT. “Without this bill, we would be hopelessly far from our climate goals.”

The bill contains $60 billion that aims to address the disparity and impacts of pollution on marginalized and low-income communities, $27 billion to create a “green bank” that would distribute funds to projects of clean energy and $20 billion to reduce emissions in agriculture.

In addition to incentives, it will also weigh on climate offenders, starting with methane leaks from pipelines and oil and gas production (methane is more than 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide according to the EPA). ) and penalties for methane pollution from 2026.

Manchin agreed to the bill after securing commitments from Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) and President Biden that separate measures would also be approved regarding energy infrastructure permits (potentially gas pipelines) by the end of the year. The idea of ​​new pipeline developments “is offset by the huge upside that investments in clean technology will have,” Congressman Ro Khanna (D-California) told the NYT.

According to Representative Khanna, this is a “clean energy moonshot”.

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