President Biden warned Tuesday that the United States had only a decade to tackle the global climate crisis and used a second day to showcase the fire-stricken West to the public and Congress. Democrats are trying to support measures his government hopes will reduce the burning of fossil fuels.
Mr. Biden to Colorado this week; Boise, Idaho; And the Long Beach and Sacramento areas of California offer more than one opportunity to raise awareness of the terrible devastation caused by wildfires and other natural disasters exacerbated by climate change. The visit was his last chance to sell the importance of climate action, some of which appear increasingly threatened in his spending packages.
“A drought or fire doesn’t see an asset line,” Biden said in a statement to the Federal Renewable Energy Laboratory. He said, “It doesn’t matter which party you are from. Disaster doesn’t mean standing still. That’s the nature of climate threats. But we know what has to be done. We just have to have the courage and creativity to do it.”
Biden stressed the urgency and said: “We don’t have more than 10 years. Democratic leaders working on the $3.5 trillion bill are struggling to balance the urgency of Biden’s argument with the reluctance of energy lobbyists and some leading Democrats to have more on their minds. You want much more complicated overhead.
On Monday, during a visit to the California Emergency Bureau in the Sacramento area, Biden appeared to have admitted it. Before learning about the damage caused by the bushfires, he reminded dozens of emergency workers in the conference room that he couldn’t push all of his planned investments in a bipartisan deal to fight climate change. , came up with infrastructure this summer. He said he was focused on getting them into the bigger $3.5 trillion packages, but acknowledged that it might not live up to his ambitions.
“I don’t know exactly how long. But we’ll get over it,” Biden said.
The in-room tax officer has made some concessions to the climate. A bill released earlier this week exempted all carbon taxes, although the revenue could help pay for a major package slated to cross Democratic party lines without Republican support do.
Many Senate Democrats are pushing for the inclusion of direct emissions taxes or indirect taxes such as tariffs on imports of goods from high-emission countries like China. But the party is not a coalition, and given the small majority in both the House and Senate, such a plan could struggle to get the 50 Senate votes it needs.
Centralist concerns about the scale and scope of some of the proposed tax hikes could force party leaders to withdraw incentives to incorporate low-carbon energy into the plan. This also applies to influential Democrats who have spoken out against past climate laws, such as Senator Joe Manchin III. from West Virginia.
Manchin, a coal nation liberal, chairs the committee tasked with drafting the Senate’s version of the bill’s biggest emissions-reduction effort: Improving Electric Services to get more electricity from next year’s carrot and low-carbon whip approach.
“The transition is underway,” Manchin said on Sunday, referring to CNN’s State of the Union. “Now they want to pay the company to do what they are already doing. It makes no sense to me to take billions of dollars for us and pay utilities for what they will do with changing markets. There is not any. ”
He declined to comment on Tuesday, telling reporters he preferred to have private conversations. Senate Democrats use the weekly lunch meeting during the annual summer vacation to provide updates on legislative efforts, though it’s unclear how quickly they will resolve differences between and between the two houses. Will decide
Biden is using his western momentum to highlight what his allies hope to lead to a call for climate action for those who have not committed to a more aggressive plan. During the visit, Biden heard from emergency services and governors – including those at odds with the government over the pandemic and other issues – about the urgent need to address natural disasters. Biden told the California Emergency Services that he recently spoke with Texas Republican Greg Abbott about responding to the emergency.
“Some of my more conservative friends,” Biden said before pausing and starting again, “some of my less religious friends suddenly called for an altar to this idea of global warming.”
“You see God,” Biden said.
When Biden later received information about his fire from rescue workers, he could be heard saying to a woman who showed him a forest fire map: “This is why it’s so important.”
On Tuesday, Biden watched a wind turbine demonstration on the campus of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Arvada, Colorado, and went on to describe the damage from hurricanes and wildfires seen while traveling to the United States this month. He called for tax breaks to accelerate the adoption of solar and electric vehicles and create a civic climate corps to protect public lands and make them more resilient to climate change.
Biden’s economic team has not clarified whether the president will accept the emissions tax as part of the package. He refused to agree to a Republican proposal to increase the federal gas tax to pay for infrastructure, citing his promise not to tax anyone earning less than $400,000. However, his government has no objections to the cigarette tax increase, which the Chamber has included in its tax plan, which would disproportionately affect low-income people.
Government officials also did not say how far the final emission reduction deal would have to go for Biden to accept it. Asked by a reporter at Arvada if he would sign the $3.5 trillion package if it included reducing measures to combat climate change, Biden clenched his fists. “I am ready for more climate protection,” he said.
Deputy Secretary General Karin Jean-Pierre told reporters on Air Force One that Biden strongly believes in the climate component of the bill. But, he added, “Biden’s climate program is not just about reconciliation or an infrastructure package.”
“We are looking in every sector of the economy for opportunities to create clean energy jobs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” he said, “especially at this critical time in this important decade.”