Energy & Environment

Biden’s proposed reconciliation framework drops clean electricity program, methane fee

President Biden on Thursday revealed a revised reconciliation framework to House progressives that includes more than $500 billion in climate provisions but excludes several major progressive agenda items.

The framework, according to a fact sheet released by the White House, includes $320 billion for clean energy tax credits, which would apply to transmission and storage, manufacturing, residences and passenger/commercial vehicles.

It would also include $105 billion for environmental resilience. This figure includes funds to address the effects of the extreme weather events that have made headlines throughout the year, such as wildfires and hurricanes. It would also provide for a Civilian Climate Corps, a major progressive climate wish list item and one that Biden has frequently compared to former President Franklin Roosevelt’s Depression-era New Deal.

Another $130 billion would go toward renewable energy development and procurement, including incentives for the federal government to be the primary buyer of next-generation renewable technologies.

However, the fact sheet makes no mention of the Clean Electricity Performance Program (CEPP), which would provide financial incentives for electrical utilities to transition away from fossil fuels. Earlier this month, The New York Times reported that the program, vocally opposed by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), would likely be removed from the bill.

As recently as last week, Biden told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that the measure had not been removed from the bill. Meanwhile, Democratic climate hawks in the Senate, such as Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), were adamant that there were alternate means to achieve the CEPP’s aims even if the program was dropped from the package.

“While I strongly support the Clean Energy Payment Program, it’s important to note that the overwhelming majority of emissions reductions come from the energy tax overhaul in our Clean Energy for America Act,” Wyden said in a statement on Oct. 16.

The fact sheet also makes no mention of other ideas championed by the party’s progressive flank, including a methane fee or a carbon tax. While members of the caucus remained hopeful as late as last week about the possibility of a methane fee, both Manchin and Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) have repeatedly thrown cold water on the notion of a carbon tax.

Tags Climate change Joe Biden Joe Biden Joe Manchin Jon Tester Reconciliation Ron Wyden White House framework

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