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West Virginia’s Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, who holds a swing vote in a 50-50 Senate, said on Thursday that he would not support President Joe Biden’s energy and climate investments bill, essentially deadlocking the piece of legislation the Democrats have sought to pass to help the Administration’s clean energy goals.
Senator Manchin declined to back the energy and climate provisions, as well as the tax provisions, in the reconciliation bill on which the Senate Democrats have been working. Manchin told on Thursday Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer that he would only back a reconciliation bill that reduces the price of medicines and extends subsidies for the Affordable Care Act, a Democrat briefed on the discussions told CBS News.
Senator Manchin is thus dealing a blow to President Biden’s energy and climate agenda by refusing to back in August the bill as-is.
That’s not the first time the West Virginia Senator has refused to support climate provisions in legislation pursued by the Democrats. Last autumn, President Biden’s spending plan was thrown into doubt after Manchin opposed the clean electricity part of the program and the penalization of coal-powered electricity generation.
Oregon Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden, who helped draft part of the proposed reconciliation bill, said he was disappointed with Senator Manchin’s refusal to back the bill in its energy and climate part.
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“This is our last chance to prevent the most catastrophic, and costly, effects of climate change,” Sen. Wyden said in a statement carried by CBS.
The failure of the reconciliation bill is another setback for President Biden’s clean energy agenda after the Supreme Court ruled at the end of last month that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not have the authority to set greenhouse emission standards for existing power plants. In a climate case brought by West Virginia, a major coal-producing state, the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that Congress had the power to set environmental standards for power plants, not the EPA.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
Tsvetana is a writer for Oilprice.com with over a decade of experience writing for news outlets such as iNVEZZ and SeeNews.