Energy and climate policies in two sweeping pieces of legislation moving through Congress would put within reach President Joe Biden’s goals of achieving 80% clean energy and a 50% economy-wide reduction in carbon emissions by 2030, according to an analysis by Senate Democrats.
In a letter to colleagues, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the legislation, if enacted, would represent the most significant investment in fighting climate change in history, and pointed out that it comes on the heels of a dire Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, which found that the worst effects of climate change won’t be staved off unless drastic steps are taken to eliminate greenhouse gas pollution.
“The bottom line is this: we have very little time to prevent the most horrendous outcomes for our children and grandchildren,” Schumer wrote in the letter. “But if we act now and act boldly, we can mitigate the worst effects of climate change and own the 21st century clean energy economy.”
The climate and energy initiatives are contained in the infrastructure bill and the budget resolution’s instructions, which will be enacted in separate legislation in the coming months.
According to the analysis, two programs proposed in the Senate’s budget blueprint -- a Clean Electricity Payment Program designed to compel utilities to produce electricity using emissions-free power sources and a package of tax incentives designed to foster the adoption of more clean energy and zero-emission vehicles -- would achieve two-thirds of the total emissions reductions in the budget resolution and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act combined.
The Senate earlier this month passed a $3.5 trillion budget framework that sets the stage for a deluge of spending on clean energy initiatives meant to help combat climate change and move the U.S. away from fossil fuels and also passed a $550 billion dollar infrastructure bill that included billions in funding for clean energy.
The House adopted the budget framework Tuesday and Speaker Nancy Pelosi has committed to a vote on the infrastructure bill by Sept. 27.
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