Bipartisan framework remains mostly consistent on climate
The latest iteration of the bipartisan infrastructure deal is remaining largely in line with a previously announced version of the framework on energy and environment spending.
The latest figures come after lawmakers said they reached an agreement on “major issues.”
Like a previously announced version, the latest deal would put $73 billion toward power infrastructure, $7.5 billion toward electric buses and transit, $55 billion toward water infrastructure, and $21 billion toward environmental cleanups.
Also in line with the prior proposal, it would put $7.5 billion toward building out a network of electric vehicle chargers, though it’s unclear whether an additional $7.5 billion in low-cost financing for the effort that had been announced by the White House would be included.
The new proposal cuts down on investments in public transit, which would have received $49 billion in a prior proposal but would get just $39 billion in the new package.
The latest fact sheet released by the White House also provided additional information on how some of the investments would be spent.
It said that the $55 billion investment in water would replace all of the country’s lead service lines and would have dedicated funding for addressing a chemical called PFAS, which has been found in drinking water and has been linked to cancer.
It also said that the funding for electric bus funding would be split three ways, with $2.5 billion for zero-emission buses, $2.5 billion for low-emission buses and $2.5 billion for ferries.
Even though it was relatively similar to the prior package, a key Democrat expressed that it doesn’t go far enough.
“While this bill is a step forward … on its own, it does not go far enough to meaningfully advance environmental justice and tackle the climate change crisis,” Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Tom Carper (D-Del.) said in a statement.
“I will continue to fight for more to be done in our upcoming reconciliation bill and work to get assurances from the White House and Senate leadership to ensure that it includes the policy and the resources we need to take bold, transformative action to invest in climate change and environmental justice,” he added.
As the bipartisan deal is agreed to, an additional Democrat-led reconciliation package could face trouble.
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) indicated on Wednesday that she doesn’t support the current $3.5 budget reconciliation proposal, which was expected to include funding for Democratic priorities that weren’t included in the bipartisan bill.
Meanwhile, a number of Democrats have indicated that they won’t support an infrastructure push without significant climate change legislation, and the reconciliation bill was widely seen as a vehicle for many such provisions.