How Biden's budget could kick-start his climate agenda with Manchin
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Police and firefighters from Boulder, Colo. keep a close watch on the NCAR fire that burned close to Boulder over the weekend and prompted thousands of evacuations. While the NCAR fire retreated Sunday and Monday, state fire officials said yesterday that for the state, fire season is now year-round. Brian Oliver, chief of the Wildland Fire Division, made the announcement on Monday after two major fires broke out in Boulder County over the past three months, including the current fire and the Marshall fire that destroyed over 1,000 homes in January. A third fire in Colorado happened in Denver.
Faced with attacks on his climate agenda from all sides, President Joe Biden’s proposed budget this week to raise taxes on the rich and lower the budget deficit could be just the roll of the dice needed to kickstart environmental momentum.
While the $5.8 trillion proposal is just a wish list that will be battled over in Congress in coming months, it focuses on a couple of things near and dear to the heart of Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.), who has held the president’s Build Back Better legislation hostage for more than a month.
Manchin’s desire to cut spending and the deficit, and to raise taxes to fund things like fighting climate change, are both featured in the budget. Take that along with the fact that everybody in Washington has stopped talking about cutting fossil fuels since the war started, and you can see why the coal baron senator is starting to make noises about revisiting a slimmed-down Build Back Better bill.
It’s likely the two proposals will be combined in some way in coming months, with the potential to come to a deal before the August recess, which would suit the Biden team fine just ahead of midterm elections. Plenty of Biden’s budget proposal — such as taxes on America’s 700 richest — likely won’t fly.
But the climate spending in the budget of $45 billion is less than a tenth of what’s in the current BBB bill, so there is lots of room for negotiation if the two sides can keep all of the other noise out.
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. . . . Brazilian leader Jair Bolsonaro is in a jam, caught between his support of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the collapse of fertilizer exports from the country to Brazil, which support its massive soybean crop, writes Michael Molinski. Without the Russian fertilizer, Bolsonaro is being forced to dig up the Amazon Basin even more to look for minerals to make it himself, or pay through the teeth from rivals — both unappetizing prospects. A deal he negotiated with Vladimir Putin just before the war began has now backfired. And the environment is paying the penalty. . . .
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Techonomy climate conference today
. . . . Join our founder and editor-in-chief David Callaway and friends today at the Techonomy conference in Mountain View, Calif. that brings together climate startup leaders, big company sustainability chiefs, climate tech investors, environmental justice activists and longtime climate experts for conversations on the most pressing challenges and opportunities. Register for free to stream live. . . .
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NY state leads hydrogen hub efforts
New York is leading a consortium that includes Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Jersey to be part of at least four regional clean energy hydrogen hub developments through the federal Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs program. The agreement includes an initial group of 40 hydrogen partners, according to a report in Offshore-energy.biz. Partners will collaborate with state and federal agencies to develop proposals in response to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) funding opportunity, which is to launch in May 2022 with $8 billion in funding available.
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