A historic US climate breakthrough?
Democrats appear to have forged a landmark deal to combat climate change. The $369 billion investment and tax package has been greeted ecstatically by climate activists in the US and around the globe, but it’s being condemned by Republicans who warn it will further fuel inflation.
Key to the breakthrough: plans to use tax incentives, rather than relying more heavily on government spending, to boost wind, solar, geothermal, battery, and other clean energy industries.
Why is this potentially such a big deal?
Given the size of its economy and the scale of its carbon emissions, there can be no global breakthrough in the fight against climate change without active leadership and major investment from the United States.
Based on past voting patterns of US lawmakers, it’s clear there can be no climate leadership and major investment unless Democrats hold the White House and have majorities in both houses of Congress.
November’s US midterm elections will likely give Republicans control of at least one house of Congress, and President Biden’s abysmal approval ratings give the GOP an excellent shot in 2024.
The breakthrough came when Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) appeared to drop previous opposition to the scale of this plan. He says his fears that the package will further stoke inflation have been addressed.
There’s still a wildcard: Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), the other Democrat who sometimes bucks her party on big legislation, hasn’t yet made her position clear.