White House Watch

White House Says The Budget Will Spend More On Climate Than Entire Energy Department

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The Democrats’ reconciliation package will likely include more than $500 billion worth of climate provisions, more than the entire Department of Energy budget, the White House said, according to The Hill.

The budget represents an opportunity for “historic investment in climate change,” White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain said during an event hosted by The Hill on Tuesday evening. The likely price tag for climate programs included in the bill is likely to fall somewhere between $500 billion and $555 billion, Axios previously reported.

“More than $500 billion over 10 years. Just to put that in perspective, the entire Department of Energy over the next 10 years is going to spend $450 billion,” Klain said during his remarks, according to The Hill. “We’re talking about an investment in climate change larger than the entire Department of Energy.”

“We just now have to go get that done,” he continued. “I think we’re making a lot of progress in that regard.”

Some Democratic lawmakers including Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, though, recently pushed back on central parts of the bill’s climate agenda, including the $150 billion Clean Electricity Performance Program (CEPP). He and fellow Democratic Sen. Jon Tester of Montana also said they wouldn’t support a carbon tax.

Manchin, who chairs the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, will play a large role in determining which programs receive the funds, according to Axios. The budget is expected to include expanded grants and loans to guide industrial decarbonization, credits for solar and wind developers, credits for the auto industry and incentives for commercial solar providers.

“This will be, just as a matter of fact, the biggest climate bill in human history,” Democratic Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz told Axios. “At least half a trillion dollars.”

Schatz added that the legislation would give the U.S. more credibility at the upcoming United Nations climate conference in Scotland. President Joe Biden and 12 cabinet officials will head to the conference, the largest of its kind since the UN’s 2015 summit in Paris, to participate in talks that world leaders hope will lead to ambitious emissions commitments.

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