WASHINGTON, July 14 (Reuters) – A U.S. Senate committee on Wednesday passed a bill on climate and energy initiatives that are expected to be debated as part of the broader bipartisan infrastructure bill.
The Senate energy panel voted 13-7 to pass the bill, which authorizes around $ 100 billion for initiatives such as helping the power grid manage more electricity from renewable sources, increasing hydrogen production from sources cleaner than fossil fuels; and capturing carbon from fossil fuel plants and other industries before they can reach the atmosphere.
The bill, sponsored by Senator Joe Manchin, Democrat and chairman of the committee, also includes initiatives to boost nuclear energy.
The leading Republican on the committee, Senator John Barrasso from the leading coal-producing state of Wyoming, voted against the legislation saying it was not doing enough to increase national mining of essential minerals used in everything from cell phones to renewable energies. China is the top producer of many of these minerals. Barrasso said he would continue to work on the measures in the bill.
Manchin thanked Barrasso and other Republicans for working on things they agreed to, such as funding the cleanup of abandoned coal mines and oil and gas wells, and for not preventing the adoption of the bill.
“Even though they might not agree with where we were going on some points, they basically didn’t put a roadblock,” Manchin said.
A moderate environmental group welcomed the advancement of the bill by the energy panel which
“There is still a lot of work to be done to adopt strong climate policies in this Congress, but it is a vital piece of the puzzle,” said Lindsey Baxter Griffith, director of federal policy at the Clean Air Task Force.
President Joe Biden, a Democrat, pushes Congress to pass a broad two-track infrastructure package that includes the bipartisan $ 1.2 trillion bill and a Democrat-led bill that is expected to include more ‘climate initiatives. Read more
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Budget Committee Chairman Senator Bernie Sanders briefed Democrats at a luncheon Wednesday on climate elements in the $ 3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill .
The proposal, which will likely require the passage of the 50 Senate Democrats, includes a clean energy standard (CES) that aims to help Biden meet his goal of reaching 80% clean electricity by 2030 while making advancing environmental justice, said a senior Democratic official.
An ESC would set progressively increasing targets for the electricity industry to reduce emissions by switching to wind and solar, using nuclear power or carbon capture. The measure also includes a new standard for reducing methane, a potent greenhouse gas, and charges on imports of goods that create large amounts of emissions when produced, the aide said, without further ado. details.
Reporting by Timothy Gardner; additional reporting by Richard Cowan, editing by Leslie Adler and Sonya Hepinstall
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