I sens. Joe Manchin and Charles Schumer announce a breakthrough in climate spending, the Department of Energy announces its first loan under an electric vehicle program in a decade, and the Biden administration seeks to increase solar power.
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Manchin: agreement reached on taxes, climate
Senator Joe Manchin (DW.Va.) announced Wednesday that it has reached an agreement with Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (DN.Y.) on legislation aimed at advancing key pieces of President Biden’s agenda, including measures aimed at taxes, the lowering of drug prices and the fight against climate change.
What does it mean? “I strongly support the transition of common sense policies that reduce inflation and focus on the major challenges America faces today and in the future,” Manchin said in a statement.
- “Now I propose and vote for the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022. Rather than risking more inflation with trillions of new expenses, this bill will reduce the inflation taxes Americans are paying, lower the cost of health insurance and health insurance. prescription drugs and will ensure our country invests in the energy security and climate change solutions we need to remain a global superpower through innovation rather than elimination, “he added.
- Arrangements agreed by Manchin and Schumer would invest a total of $ 369.75 billion in energy security and climate change programs over 10 years, they said.
- They also said the package will cut about 40 percent of the country’s carbon emissions by 2030.
How did we get here: The announcement comes after Manchin previously withdrew from talks related to climate and tax regulations, saying he would rather focus on lowering drug costs.
Manchin’s statement says the deal invests in technologies that would enhance various types of energy, including fossil fuels, renewable energy, nuclear hydrogen, and energy storage.
He added that it also invests in reducing both the domestic carbon and methane emissions that warm the planet, and in reducing global emissions.
The declaration did not include specific policies on how this would be achieved, but many of the goals he indicated appear to be in line with the previously proposed clean energy tax credits.
Read more from Rachel and Aris Folley of The Hill.
The facility obtains a loan to process electric vehicle materials
The Department of Energy announced Wednesday that it will grant a $ 102 million loan to expand a processing facility for materials used in electric vehicle batteries.
- The department said the project is expected to create 150 construction jobs and 98 operations jobs.
- The facility, owned by Syrah Technologies in Vidalia, Los Angeles, is a leading manufacturer of a material used in lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles and other clean energy technologies.
What is it for? In an April conditional approval, the Department of Energy said the loan could provide the facility with enough capacity to produce around 2.5 million electric vehicles by 2040, saving 970 million gallons of gasoline.
- “The Department of Energy’s investment in Syrah Vidalia builds on President Biden’s goals to secure our clean transportation future and grow the US workforce to produce advanced electric vehicles and batteries,” said the Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm in a note.
- The facility, however, has been the subject of some controversy. E&E News reported in May that the graphite it uses in batteries is being mined in an area of Mozambique where an ISIS-related uprising is taking place.
Asked during a press phone call on Wednesday if anything was being done to ensure the loan did not further inflame those tensions, officials referred Stephen Wells to Syrah CFO. Wells said the company was monitoring incidents near the mine, has a strong relationship with local and national government, and “commits[s] a ”to employ 96% of locals in the mine.
The Department of Energy loan is the first it has issued through its high-tech vehicle manufacturing loan program since 2011.
Read more about the program here.
Biden officials announce solar initiatives
The Biden administration announces several initiatives aimed at strengthening the deployment of solar energy.
- An administration fact sheet framed the measure as a way to reduce energy costs and create jobs, as well as tackle climate change.
- It comes amid mounting pressure on the administration to take further action on the issue after Senator Joe Manchin (DW.Va.) withdrew from talks on legislation to combat climate change last month.
One of the initiatives, by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, would allow people in government-assisted housing to access solar energy.
They would do this by not counting their participation in solar programs that cut their energy bills relative to their income, which can determine their level of rent assistance.
A White House fact sheet said this would allow as many as 4.5 million households access to solar power, which he believes can save households an average of 10% per year on electricity.
The administration is also launching a pilot program in Colorado, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York and Washington, DC, to make locally produced solar power more accessible to low-income families. This program would connect households receiving federal government energy assistance to this solar community.
Read more about the announcement here.
WAITING FOR GOFFMAN
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee did not vote on Wednesday on appointing Joe Goffman to lead the Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Air and Radiation, as originally intended, but instead put forward two more candidates. with the voice vote.
- Not all Democratic members of the 10-10 panel were present, potentially jeopardizing the nomination to committee.
- Goffman was the architect of the Obama-era Clean Power Plan, the 2015 emissions reduction plan recently rejected by the Supreme Court in its West Virginia v EPA ruling, and currently serves in the administration as an actor.
“His response to the Supreme Court decision reaffirmed why I am against him,” ranking member Shelley Moore Capito (RW.Va.) said at the opening of the hearing Wednesday.
TOMORROW AT THE TAP
- The Senate Energy Committee will hold a full committee hearing to review pending legislation
- The House Oversight Committee Holds a Hearing Titled “Toxic Air: How Leaded Aviation Fuel Is Poisoning America’s Children”
WHAT WE ARE READING
- Dark power: how utilities neutralize opponents, increase profits (The Orlando Sentinel / Floodlight)
- Barbados resists climate colonialism as it attempts to survive the costs of global warming (Pro Publica / The New York Times Magazine)
- Unprecedented heat and stressed grids make dangerous power outages more and more likely (HuffPost)
- In the Brazilian Amazon, rainforest destruction costs little politically (The Washington Post)
Lighter click: Causing a stir
That’s it for today, thanks for reading. Check out The Hill’s energy and environment page for the latest news and coverage. See you tomorrow.
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