Senate Reached Historic Climate Deal: Business leaders encouraged
The recent announcement from Senator Schumer’s office indicates that a climate package will be a part of the upcoming budget reconciliation vote. The agreement will direct $369 billion towards climate investments – an important boost for our economy. If this bill passes, it will be the largest investment in climate in our nation’s history.
The American Sustainable Business Network is encouraged by the announcement and is confident this bill could go a long way in managing increased inflation while also supporting one of the fastest growing industries in clean technology and renewable energy. Senator Manchin, who came under fire after pulling out of negotiations last week, worked closely with Senate leadership to create this historic moment. This last minute announcement is a surprising twist in what has felt like a summer of disappointment.
“This recent announcement by Senators Schumer and Manchin is a necessary step towards building a strong economy that simultaneously addresses the urgent crisis being caused by climate change,” said Michael Green, Director of Climate Policy at ASBN. “Meaningful action will require leadership from both businesses and government. ASBN and our business members will continue to hold up their end of the bargain and hope this is the moment that our elected leaders on Capitol Hill do the same.”
The one-page summary from Schumer’s office indicates that the bill includes a record $369 billion for energy and climate to help our nation achieve emissions reductions of 40% by 2030. It is also anticipated to have an additional $60 billion to boost domestic clean energy manufacturing, including $30 billion in production tax credits for solar panels, wind turbines, batteries and critical mineral processing. Additionally, it offers lower- and middle-income motorists a $7,500 tax credit for clean vehicles, while states and electric utilities would see $30 billion in grants and loans to expand clean energy. Lastly, it includes $60 billion for environmental justice communities and a fee on methane emissions that will rise to $1,500 a ton by 2026.
Climate language will be added to two other key deliverables in the bill, adding additional funding to the Affordable Care Act and closing tax loopholes for large corporations and the wealthy.
The senators’ agreement matches what business leaders have been calling for all along. The over 1,000 businesses that signed our and our business allies’ call for action earlier this month know that our transition to a sustainable future can only be made possible with bold political leadership. While few other details have been released, and the bill still has to make its way through the Senate and House, there is great reason for optimism.