Schumer-Manchin Reconciliation Bill: Climate Change Provisions

Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) leaves the US Capitol after voting on Capitol Hill in Washington, February 9, 2022.

Tom Brenner | Reuters

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., and Sep. Joe Manchin, DW.V., on Wednesday unveiled a long-awaited reconciliation package that will invest hundreds of billions of dollars to fight climate change and advance clean energy programs.

725-page bill titled “Inflation Reduction Act 2022provides $369 billion for climate and clean energy, the most aggressive climate investment ever made by Congress. Climate bill provisions (summed up gentlemen) will cut the country’s carbon emissions by about 40% by 2030, according to the deal’s summary.

The sudden announcement of the deal comes less than two weeks after Manchin, a key centrist with a 50-50 majority vote in the Senate, said he would not support any climate provisions until he had a clearer picture of inflation for July. . .

If the law is passed and signed into law, the law will include funding for the following:

Production of clean energy products, including a $10 billion investment tax credit for manufacturing businesses for things like electric vehicles, wind turbines, and solar panels, and $30 billion for additional manufacturing tax credits to boost domestic production of solar panels, wind turbines, batteries, and recycling the most important minerals. This will also include loans of up to $20 billion to build new green car factories in the US and $2 billion to upgrade existing car factories to produce green cars.

Emission reduction, including $20 billion for the agricultural sector and $3 billion to reduce air pollution in ports. It also includes unspecified funding for a program to reduce emissions of methane, which is often produced as a by-product of oil and gas production and warms the atmosphere more than 80 times more than carbon dioxide. In addition, the law provides $9 billion to the federal government to purchase US-made clean technology, including $3 billion to the US Postal Service to purchase zero-emission vehicles.

Research and developmentincluding a $27 billion clean energy technology accelerator to support the adoption of emission-limiting technologies and $2 billion for breakthrough energy research in government labs.

Conservation and support of natural resourcesincluding $5 billion in grants to support healthy forests, forest conservation, and urban tree planting, and $2.6 billion in grants to preserve and restore coastal habitats.

State support, including about $30 billion in grant and loan programs for states and electric utilities to advance the transition to clean energy.

environmental justice initiatives, over $60 billion to address the uneven impact of pollution on low-income communities and communities of color.

For individuals, a $7,500 tax credit to buy new electric vehicles, and a $4,000 credit to buy a used one. Both loans will only be available to low- and middle-income consumers.

“I support a plan that will promote realistic energy and climate policies that drive prices down today and invest strategically in the long-term game,” Manchin. said in a statement on Wednesday. “This legislation ensures that the market takes the lead, and not ambitious political programs or unrealistic goals, in the energy transition that is happening in our country.”

The Senate is due to vote on the proposed bill next week, after which it will go to the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives.

President Joe Biden on Wednesday said the tax credits and investment in energy projects in the agreement would create thousands of new jobs and help lower energy costs, and urged the Senate to pass legislation as soon as possible.

The President has vowed to cut US greenhouse gas emissions by 50-52% from 2005 levels by 2030 and reach zero emissions by mid-century. Without a reconciliation bill, the country may well fall short of that goal, according to a recent analysis by independent research firm Rhodium Group.

“This is the action the American people have been waiting for,” the president said. said in a statement on Wednesday. “It solves the problems of today – high health care costs and general inflation, as well as investments in our energy security in the future.”