Industry trade

Behind Manchin’s opposition, a long history of the fight against climate measures

Mr Manchin argued on Sunday that “the energy transition my colleagues are seeking is already well advanced,” as the price of wind and solar power falls, pushing the utilities and transportation sectors away from oil, gas and coal. But scientists say the pace has to be much faster if the world is to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of climate change and that’s what the bill’s incentives were designed to achieve.

“These are exactly the same arguments he made when he opposed the clean electricity plan, but now he uses them to oppose what are just reasonable tax credits for the clean energy, ”Ms. Smith said. She called them “bad” on both counts.

In a sense, the current standoff between most Democrats and Mr Manchin is a predicted drama. In 2018, when Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee-ranked Democrat Maria Cantwell of Washington used her seniority to rise to the top of the Senate Trade Committee, Democratic Environmentalists pleaded with the next Liberal. the oldest, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont. , to take the hammer – and keep it from Mr. Manchin. But Mr Sanders, an independent with national ambitions, chose instead to take the top post on the Senate Budget Committee. This, under strict seniority rules, left the energy committee open to Mr. Manchin. As president, Mr. Manchin was responsible for drafting several of the climate provisions in the Senate version of the Build Back Better Act.

Democrats said on Monday they were just starting to discuss how to save the provisions of the climate change bill.

Hawaii Democrat Senator Brian Schatz said he could see parts, like clean energy incentives, moving into smaller “chunks.”

“There is a lot of discussion about the policy of this and what it means for the specific bill,” Mr Schatz said. “But I have the impression that the fundamentals are in our favor on the climate side.”

“Science is more ruthless than politics, and on the climate there is broad agreement that we need to do something big and bold,” he said.