Senator Joe Manchin’s reported unwillingness to support even the modest climate policies put forth in the Build Back Better reconciliation package is leaving Democratic lawmakers and the White House to consider several alternatives.
In response, Food & Water Watch Policy Director Mitch Jones released the following statement:
“Senate leadership and the White House seem to be entertaining two possibilities: A ‘clean energy’ program that carves out more room for deadly fossil fuels, or a regressive, ineffective carbon tax that would replace a clean electricity standard. Both of these scenarios would amount to dangerous failure.
“Modifying the standards in the Clean Electricity Payment Program in a way that would allow construction of new coal or gas-fired power plants—and to even count as sources of clean power — would render the program useless, at best. There is no value in trading meaningful emissions targets for dirty power loopholes or wishful thinking about carbon capture.
“Lawmakers frustrated by Manchin’s intransigence are also seizing on this as an opportunity to promote a carbon tax as an alternative to meaningful policies. Carbon taxes have never been shown to be effective, and would directly tie government revenues to continued drilling and fracking. This would be a remarkable and tragic betrayal at a historically significant moment for climate action.
“If the price of winning Joe Manchin’s vote is a greatly diminished clean power proposal that props up fossil fuels, then it is no win at all. The climate movement should focus its energy on fighting to pass meaningful legislation that does what is necessary.”