Support Climate Action! Get your early bird tickets to SanDiego350’s Sept 21 Gala today!

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Quick Takes on the Surprise Federal Climate Deal 

If your head is whirling from the on-again-off-again federal climate legislation, you’re not alone. After months of negotiations, delay, and walking away from the table, Sen. Manchin and Dems have announced a climate and tax deal. Here’s SD350’s quick highlights based on what we know now.  

The Good

  • Includes a commitment to reduce carbon emissions by 40% by 2030. This is the most significant action Congress has ever taken on climate (admittedly a low bar), and would allow the U.S. to re-engage with other nations, because we’re putting our money where our mouth is.
  • Invests substantial federal funds ($369 billion) in energy and climate, incentivizing wind, solar, and other renewables, as well as energy efficiency retrofits, electric vehicles, battery storage and plugging methane leaks. It also creates a green bank.
  • Includes $60 billion for addressing the disproportionate burden of pollution borne by low income communities and communities of color. 
  • Is funded through increased taxes on corporations and closing some tax loopholes on the wealthiest Americans. 

The Bad 

  • Even with this deal, the U.S. will fall short of President Biden’s commitments to climate action, which themselves fall short of the huge cuts we need to make in greenhouse gas emissions if we want to avert the very worst impacts of climate change. 
  • Omits solutions most needed by frontline communities, especially investment in transit.

The Ugly

  • Includes major handouts to Big Oil, like requiring new oil & gas leasing on 620 million acres of public lands and waters, and permitting for new oil & gas pipelines. 
  • Perpetuates injustice for the frontline communities where the drilling will continue and expand, including the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska.
  • Includes billions in direct subsidies for big oil companies like Exxon for false solutions, like hydrogen and carbon capture, which allow the fossil fuel industry to continue profiting from extracting and burning fossil fuels and will not reduce emissions.  
  • Sen. Manchin secured a commitment that Congress would also approve a separate measure to permit new fossil fuel infrastructure, e.g., natural gas pipelines he is personally invested in.

What this Means for Us

  • This deal is a testament to the persistence and growing political power of the climate justice movement across the U.S. which has been fighting for this first step for over 10 yrs.
  • With more action needed federally, we will continue to push President Biden to declare a climate emergency to unlock executive powers, and to continue negotiating for a better climate package that keeps fossil fuels in the ground. Join our rally on Tuesday, August 2nd @ 6 pm downtown (part of a national day of action). 
  • We will wait to understand more details about the deal as they come through and evolve, so we can share them with you. 
  • We will continue to urge Governor Newsom to block the utilities’ efforts to kill rooftop solar in California and for stronger statewide measures through the CA Air Resources Board.

Further reading: NY Times / CNN / Bloomberg / The Atlantic

6 Responses

  1. Thank you Masada!
    I will also be interested to hear SD350’s take on how the CCA SDCP rollout has gone. The ‘neighbors’ in NextDoor are bashing the SDCP despite the clear, verifiable rate favorability (at least in my TOU plan). There doesn’t seem to be anyone defending it against the DeMaio gang who are encouraging an exodus. I think we need a clear, concise PSA. The postcards that announced the implementation were summarily tossed out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *