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Home hosts largest climate investment in U.S. history

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, NY, speaks at a press conference with House Democrats about the Build Back Better Act outside the US Capitol on November 17, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Drew Angerer | Getty Images

House Democrats passed President Joe Biden’s $ 1.75 trillion Social Policy and Climate Bill, the largest measure in US history to combat climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

He proposes that the United States cut emissions in half by 2030 and achieve zero emissions by mid-century.

The bill calls for an investment of $ 555 billion in climate programs, mainly through tax incentives for low-emission energy sources. That’s less than $ 600 billion in the Democrats’ original $ 3.5 trillion plan, but still remains the largest category in the Biden bill.

If passed, Biden’s system would legalize action on climate change, making it difficult for future administrations to reverse the action. The last US attempt to pass climate legislation came in 2009, when Democrats in Congress disapproved of the carbon pricing system under former President Barack Obama.

The largest piece of climate spending in the bill includes 10-year tax breaks to expand and accelerate investments in renewable energy sources, including wind, solar and nuclear. The bill also includes a proposal to raise the electric vehicle tax credit to $ 12,500 for vehicles manufactured at a union plant in the United States.

Other elements of climate-related legislation include:

  • Providing discounts to consumers for clean energy and electrification transitions
  • Promoting environmental justice by investing in disadvantaged communities
  • Creation of a new civilian climate corporation to create jobs and preserve public lands.
  • Investing in coastal restoration, forest management and soil conservation.

US President Joe Biden attends Build Back Better World (B3W) Meeting during the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, UK on November 2, 2021.

Kevin Lamarck | Reuters

“Build Back Better World will show that we can grow our economy, fight climate change and leave a better, cleaner and more livable planet for all our children,” the president said in his speech at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow. , Scotland earlier this month.

“This is the most significant climate vote in our history,” Manish Bapna, president and chief executive officer of the Natural Resources Defense Council, said in a statement. “It’s about creating jobs, driving innovation, promoting equity, and finally, countering rising costs and the growing dangers of the climate crisis.”

Getting the plan through the Senate can be challenging. Democrats cannot afford to defect their 50 members. And two key Democratic centrists, Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Senator Kirsten Cinema of Arizona, did not support the presidential framework.

During talks in Washington, Manchin was able to overturn the clean electricity program, an initial key component of the presidential vision that would encourage energy companies to switch from fossil fuels to clean energy and punish companies that did not. The state of Manchin is the largest producer of coal and gas, and the senator’s only source of income last year was the coal consulting company he founded.

Senate Democrats are keen to pass the plan before Christmas and wrap up their agenda before next year’s midterm elections. The House of Representatives will need to pass the law again if it is revised.


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