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President Biden’s Climate Agenda is in Jeopardy, and that’s bad news for Hawaii’s clean energy reforms 

Manchin Tells Biden He Strongly Opposes Clean Energy Legislation –

The most powerful part of President Biden’s climate agenda — a program to rapidly replace the nation’s coal- and gas-fired power plants with wind, solar and nuclear energy — will likely be dropped from the massive budget bill pending in Congress, according to congressional staffers and lobbyists.

Senator Manchin, a Democrat from coal-rich West Virginia and operates more like a Coal industry lobbyist than the Democratic senator he is.  Manchin’s personal holdings in coal stocks and other coal-supported investments are estimated at several million dollars. Manchin’s vote in an evenly divided Senate, is a deal breaker. By holding the one vote Democratic majority hostage, there now appears little hope for meaningful national energy reform. Manchin told the White House that he strongly opposes the Clean (energy) Electricity Performance Program.

The West Virginia Democrat told the White House he is firmly against the Clean Electricity Performance Program (CEPP),the cornerstone of the president’s plan to battle Climate Change.  The CEPP, is the climate policy component of the Democrats’ massive infrastructure and social safety net package, now expected to be dropped from the final budget deal after pushback from Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia. “He is not there on the CEPP period. We’ve been trying,” one Democratic aide said with knowledge of the negotiations. Biden and the Democrats are trying to find ways to restructure the program to fit Manchin’s concerns while still reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The latest IPCC UN report on global warming, released in August, concluded that countries must immediately shift away from burning fossil fuels in order to avoid a future of severe drought, intense heat waves, water shortages, devastating storms, rising seas and ecosystem collapse. Gw Graphic Outlook

Common sense and self-preservation should produce at least one or two Republican votes of support needed to cancel out Manchin’s opposition, in an acknowledgement of the science-driven Biden climate agenda after decades of obstruction and reality denial.

Apparently not. Fossil fuel money (courtesy $5.9 trillion in annual global taxpayer subsidies), has greased the skids, enabling fossil fuel stakeholders to continue with business as usual until it’s over. And over is a reality coming much faster than most people and politicians are willing to recognize or accept.

Manchin is not alone, no single Republican has offered public support for the corner stone of Administration’s Climate-essential legislation scientists say is essential in addressing the impacts of global climate change, now occurring. West Virginia’s other senator, Republican Shelley Moore Capito, said she was “vehemently opposed” to the clean electricity program (CEPP) because it is “designed to ultimately eliminate coal.

Experts have said that the policy over the next decade would drastically reduce the greenhouse gases that are heating the planet and that it would be the strongest climate change policy ever enacted by the United States.

“This is absolutely the most important climate policy in the package,” said Leah Stokes, an expert on climate policy, who has been advising Senate Democrats on how to craft the program. “We fundamentally need it to meet our climate goals. That’s just the reality we face, and consequences of inaction are unthinkable..”

Consequences of Coal’s Political Clout & Hubris

Democrats are preparing for the likely demise of the Clean Electricity Performance Program (CEPP), which would reward utilities that deploy more clean energy while penalizing those that don’t. Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), said Tuesday that the CEPP “is challenging” and that she had been checking with the measure’s main author, Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minn.), “every couple hours” on a substitute “that still brings down carbon emissions.

If the CEPP is dropped from the spending package, Democrats will have to find another way to meet Biden’s overarching goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 50 to 52 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi scheduled a caucus meeting for Wednesday at 9 a.m. ET as Democrats try to make progress in negotiations on their sprawling economic package, which aims to expand education, healthcare and childcare support, according to a lawmaker who received the release.

The rest of the world remains deeply wary of America’s commitment to tackling global warming after four years in which former President Donald J. Trump openly mocked the science of climate change and enacted policies that encouraged more drilling and burning of fossil fuels.

For weeks, Democratic leaders have vowed that the clean electricity program was a nonnegotiable part of the legislation. Progressive Democrats held rallies chanting “No climate, no deal!”

No Republican Senator, including Republican senators from states without coal and fossil fuel extraction industries have remained absent without leave from the Build Better legislative negotiations and their support in advancing critical climate actions.

A major scientific report released in August concluded that countries must immediately shift away from burning fossil fuels in order to avoid a future of severe drought, intense heat waves, water shortages, devastating storms, rising seas and ecosystem collapse. To avert catastrophe, scientists say nations must keep the average global temperature from increasing 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. But as countries continue to pump carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, the average global temperature has already risen by about 1.1 degrees Celsius.

Crucial U.N. climate talks (COP 26) next month could end short of the global target for cutting coal, gas and oil emissions, U.S. climate envoy John Kerry says, after nearly a year of climate diplomacy that helped win deeper cuts from allies but has so far failed to move some of the world’s biggest polluters to act fast enough.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Kerry credited the United States, the European Union, Japan and others that over the past year have pledged bigger, faster cuts in climate-wrecking fossil fuel emissions ahead of the talks in Glasgow, Scotland, under nudging from Kerry and the Biden administration. He expressed hope enough nations would join in over the next couple of years. “By the time Glasgow’s over, we’re going to know who is doing their fair share, and who isn’t,” he said.


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