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Climate spending in reconciliation bill said to total at least $500B

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Climate spending in reconciliation bill said to total at least $500B

  • Author Molly Christian
  • Theme Energy

The Biden administration and Democrats in Congress have agreed to spend between $500 billion and $550 billion on climate measures as part of a massive budget reconciliation package still under development, a source familiar with the negotiations said.

Among other things, the climate portion of the bill will include grants and loans to cut industrial sector carbon dioxide emissions, tax credits to support domestic manufacturing of renewable energy supply chains, grants and loans to rural electric cooperatives for clean energy and energy efficiency, and money to expand access to rooftop solar and home electrification, the source said in confirming an Oct. 26 story from Axios.

Democrats in Congress are also working to enact new and extended clean energy tax credits. But the reconciliation bill appears unlikely to include a proposed clean electricity performance program or fee on methane emissions, as originally sought by Democrats.

The climate funding is part of a broader spending bill that Democratic lawmakers and the White House are still finalizing. U.S. President Joe Biden and his allies in Congress are scrambling to nail down climate commitments ahead of the COP26 conference that begins Oct. 31 in Glasgow, Scotland.

In April, Biden announced a new pledge under the Paris Agreement on climate change to slash economywide U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 50% to 52% from 2005 levels by 2030. But that target will be tough to meet unless Congress passes both the reconciliation legislation and a separate bipartisan infrastructure bill and the federal government establishes aggressive new emissions rules for power plants and vehicles, consulting firm Rhodium Group said in a recent study.