Boston, Massachusetts — After months of negotiations, today the U.S. Senate finally reached an agreement and approved a climate and energy bill worth several hundred billion dollars.
May Boeve, Executive Director at 350.org, said:
“Movement building creates political opportunities — and that’s what this bill represents most of all. We greet this climate bill as evidence that movements have a strong influence on political outcomes.
A US commitment to reducing its emissions has the opportunity to influence climate policy globally and locally for countries, states, and cities who want to invest in a transition to renewable energy. National action alone enables momentum at both the global and local levels. The US should work to fulfill its commitment under the Paris agreement, and in so doing engage its global allies with humility.
The only way to address the climate crisis is to phase out fossil fuel production immediately and invest in renewable energy. This bill is an important step forward, and we will continue to use our voice, alongside the strength of the entire movement, to continue to push for ambitious and equitable climate action at all levels. Time is short; but momentum is on our side.”
There are some real victories in this bill: lengthening the tax credits for green energy projects from two to ten years to ensure steady growth in the wind and solar industry; providing incentives for consumers to buy electric vehicles; and installing heat pumps to make green energy use more widespread.
However, there are also too many giveaways to the fossil fuel industry, and specifically to Sen. Joe Manchin, including guaranteeing the Mountain Valley Pipeline; mandating oil leasing on public lands in the Gulf and Alaska; and allowing for millions of acres of land/offshore oil and gas leases.
JL Andrepont, U.S. Senior Policy Analyst and Policy Campaigner at 350.org, said:
“What our planet needs now is an unequivocal commitment by those in power to shut down the fossil fuel industry. The world is watching the steps the U.S. will take around climate change — especially leading up to the UN’s climate change conference, COP27, this coming fall.
As the climate crisis worsens, we must do everything possible to support the BIPOC and frontline communities across the globe who have contributed the least to this crisis, but are already suffering the most from it. From false solutions like carbon capture to the next fight against the proposed changes to NEPA’s permitting process, we can’t afford to accept anymore of these compromises to the fossil fuel industry.”