Al Gore lobbied Biden to not scale back climate plans in infrastructure deal
Former Vice President Al Gore reportedly urged President Biden in private to keep climate-focused policies in his expansive infrastructure bill as he struggles to shore up GOP support for the bill.
Sources familiar with the situation told The Washington Post that Gore, an extremely prominent environmentalist, made the call to Biden last month after being encouraged to do so by former White House Chief of Staff John Podesta. During the call, Gore also asked Biden to block the planned Byhalia Pipeline, which transport crude oil through predominantly Black neighborhoods in Memphis and could potentially affect drinking water.
The former vice president also spoke to Biden aide Steve Ricchetti about climate and infrastructure, the Post reports.
The private lobbying from Gore comes shortly before Biden is set to discuss measures to combat climate change at the Group of Seven summit in Cornwall, England this week. The G7 leaders are expected to announce new commitments to combating climate change, though Biden will be limited in what he can push for due to ongoing gridlock in D.C.
On Tuesday, Biden ended negotiations with a GOP group led by Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), failing to reach an agreement after weeks of talks. Biden will instead be focusing on discussions between a bipartisan group of moderate senators, including Sens. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.)
On Thursday, the bipartisan group announced that they had reached an agreement on an infrastructure deal that invests $1.2 trillion over eight years.
“Our group — comprised of 10 senators, five from each party — has worked in good faith and reached a bipartisan agreement on a realistic, compromise framework to modernize our nation’s infrastructure and energy technologies,” the coalition said in a joint statement. “This investment would be fully paid for and not include tax increases.”