Democrats in the US House of Representatives today won final approval of a budget measure that calls for spending $369 billion over the next ten years on climate and energy security.
The greatest domestic climate bill ever was approved by the House by a vote of 220-207. The bill will now travel to the White House, where it will likely be signed by President Joe Biden.
By providing tax credits and subsidies for resources like wind and solar, energy incentives for consumers, and subsidies to expand clean energy production, the plan is predicted to put the US on track to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030, compared to 2005.
US senator Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia), who spent months in discussions trying to cut the measure’s price tag and favor “innovation not elimination,” will experience some success with the oil and gas industry thanks to the law. With razor-thin majorities, including a 50-50 split in the US Senate, Democratic leaders crafted the plan in the hopes that its investments in energy and an expected $300 billion in deficit reduction could address climate change and lower inflation.
After months of negative news from rising gas prices and the possibility of a recession, Democrats can finally point to a legislative victory on climate issues prior to the November midterm elections. Republicans, meanwhile, claim that the increased spending, which was financed by higher taxes, would contribute to economic headwinds.
According to a model by the Repeat Project at Princeton University, the law is anticipated to reduce US use of petroleum products by 13 percent and its usage of natural gas by 9 percent by 2030, compared to current policies.
The plan will prolong through 2024 the expiring federal tax credits, worth roughly $70 billion, that are beneficial to renewable energy sources including wind, solar, and biofuels. From 2025 through 2031, it will adopt a technology-neutral strategy and provide approximately $65 billion on biofuels and renewable power. Additionally, the measure will provide $30 billion in additional tax credits for nuclear power facilities already in operation, $13 billion for clean hydrogen, and $3 billion to increase the maximum on carbon capture credits to $85 per metric ton.
Despite worries that it would lock in additional oil and gas leasing, environmentalists have mostly backed the plan as the single biggest step the US can take to come closer to Biden’s goal of cutting its greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030 relative to 2005.