As the world gears up for a massive United Nations climate change conference next month, a couple of U.S. senators are working to ensure that the U.S. fumbles a once-in-a-decade opportunity to address its climate-warming emissions.
Just a few weeks ago, it seemed like President Joe Biden was on track to accomplish what previous administrations have attempted and failed to achieve: writing an emissions-reduction policy into federal law. That policy, the $150 billion Clean Electricity Performance Program, is a system of carrots and sticks that would have pushed America’s electric utilities to go green between 2023 and 2030. The power these companies supply to your home would become progressively cleaner over that timeframe, putting the U.S. electricity sector, currently the second-most polluting sector in this country, on track to producing 100 percent clean electricity by 2035.
The Biden administration aimed to pass this program via a process called budget reconciliation, which allows Congress to make changes to laws that have to do with spending, revenues, or the federal debt limit. Crucially, reconciliation is immune to the filibuster — it only ... Read more