Budget Deal Still Short on Climate Details

While some advocates celebrate progress, ‘clean’ electricity program remains vague

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Climate and Energy

As Senate Democrats advance their $3.5 trillion budget blueprint, climate advocates are enthusiastic about the reported inclusion of a ‘clean electricity standard’ (CES), which is considering the most important element of the White House climate agenda. 

But there is no information about how such a program will be structured, and what sources will count as ‘clean.’ Several CES proposals count fracked gas as a clean power source, and rely on offsets and other accounting schemes to achieve their goals. Those obvious shortcomings have prompted hundreds of organizations to call for a truly clean renewable electricity standard (RES). And Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has backed those calls, endorsing the view that gas is not a source of clean power. 

In response, Food & Water Watch Policy Director Mitch Jones released the following statement: 

“While it is imperative that this Congress take bold action to fight climate change, it would be wise to wait for the details of the Senate’s budget reconciliation agreement, since the devil is always in the details.

“There should be some clear must-haves. This package must eliminate fossil fuel subsidies, as Senator Wyden has said this week. It must not call fracked gas ‘clean,’ as Senator Schumer has said this week. And it cannot play sleight of hand tricks by calling fracked gas with carbon capture ‘clean.’ 

“We look forward to continuing to work with climate champions in Congress and activists across the country to assure that the climate provisions of this package truly deliver the policies we need to avert our worsening climate chaos.”