Manchin Blocks Support For Funding Climate And Clean Energy Programs

Manchin Blocks Support For Funding Climate And Clean Energy Programs - Carbon Herald
Image: 24Novembers | Shutterstock

Biden’s climate change efforts are being stalled back by opposition from his own party. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) said Thursday, July 14th that he would not support funding for climate or clean energy programs.

He announced he would not back new spending on climate measures or tax increases which means he succeeded in effectively crippling the chances of addressing the climate emergency under the current government. He said he’ll support health care and drug price proposals instead. 

Relevant: Manchin Rejects Biden’s Build Back Better Bill

Without Manchin’s support, Congress is unlikely to move ahead with a substantial investment in climate policy before the midterm elections, when the balance of power is expected to tip to Republicans and put climate legislation off for several more years.

“The House did its job. The Senate failed because Joe Manchin and the Republicans blocked Senate action. The consequences will be profound – at home and abroad. The climate crisis is inflicting rising costs and mounting dangers across this country and around the world. Seven in ten Americans expect our government to act,” commented Manish Bapna, president and CEO of the NRDC Action Fund on the Manchin climate funding block.

Relevant: Senator Whitehouse Proposes Border-Adjusted Carbon Tax Bill

Biden’s program includes $320 billion in new and expanded tax credits in the climate legislation for renewable power, nuclear plants, biofuels, electric vehicles and advanced energy manufacturing. 

These proposed tax incentives have been estimated to slash greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 40% by 2030, both by spurring investment and enabling stricter federal pollution curbs.

Image: Phil Pasquini | Shutterstock

President Joe Biden is urged now to deploy executive powers to launch a set of regulations that would keep the fight against climate change after such a blow. Some environmentalists propose that Biden should declare a “climate emergency”. Such a move would unlock a broad suite of executive powers like shutting down crude exports, and redirecting funds for clean-energy projects. 

Some climate groups also propose Biden to direct the EPA to establish national limits for greenhouse gasses, require the Interior Department to end new oil and gas leases and phase out the production of oil and gas on public lands and waters.

Enforcing regulations alone might not be enough for Biden to curb emissions by 2030 substantially as they could be shifted by a new government coming in power, however, the president is determined to move on with his own efforts now to keep building the energy future. 

Despite Senator Manchin, who is famous for being the top recipient in the Senate and all of Congress of profits from investments in the oil and gas, mining, and coal sectors, there are strict measures that could be taken during Biden’s presidency to tackle the climate crisis.

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