The Senate voted (67–32) to begin debate on a nearly $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill yesterday, with about half of it dedicated to new federal funding that contains a significant chunk for “climate resilience.” The latest iteration is largely similar to a previous version on energy and climate spending, albeit significantly lower than the $2 trillion that President Biden once vowed. Among other things, the proposal allocates $73 billion to modernize the electric grid, $7.5 billion to build a federal network of EV charging stations, and $5 billion for electric and low-emission school buses.
The new compromise has cut public transit investment down from $49 billion to $39 billion, removed allocation for an infrastructure bank in a move that cuts EV charging stations funding in half compared to previous versions, and it remains unclear if the additional $7.5 billion in low-cost financing has been included.
“While this bill is a step forward … on its own, it does not go far enough to meaningfully advance environmental justice and tackle the climate change crisis,” Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Tom Carper (D-Del.) said in a statement.
While Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) has indicated she would not support the current $3.5 budget reconciliation proposal that Democrats are using to fund significant climate action, other Democrats have indicated that they won’t support an infrastructure bill without a significant climate change push, which is currently included in the reconciliation bill.
Sources: Senate vote: NPR, CNN, Guardian, New York Times $, Politico, Wall Street Journal $; What’s in the bill: New York Times, The Hill, NBC News, Bloomberg, CNN, CNBC, USA Today, E&E News $; Bush & AOC on Diversity: The Hill; Reconciliation: E&E News $; Interviews: NPR with Pete Buttigieg, PBS with Sen. Tester.
This is a quick news brief from Nexus Media. (Image added by editor.)
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