Senate approves climate, budget reconciliation bill

By Manuel Quiñones | 08/07/2022 03:18 PM EDT

Senate Environment and Public Works Chair Tom Carper, a Democrat from Delaware, gives a thumbs-up in an elevator.

Senate Environment and Public Works Chair Tom Carper (D-Del.) giving a thumbs-up this weekend as the Democrats took up their budget reconciliation bill. Francis Chung/E&E News

The Senate approved a $740 billion budget reconciliation bill with incentives for clean energy production to address climate change.

The legislation — which passed 50-50, with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking the tie — has $369 billion in climate and clean energy policies, including incentives for renewable energy, hydrogen, nuclear and electric vehicles. The bill also has $60 billion for environmental justice (E&E Daily, July 28).

“The ‘Inflation Reduction Act’ is a groundbreaking bill for the American people,” said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) this weekend.


The bill includes a compromise methane fee to address the powerful greenhouse gas, a new royalty rate for oil and gas production on federal lands and waters, and an extension of black lung disease benefits (E&E Daily, July 29). Other provisions would revive a Superfund tax on industry and fund drought response (E&E Daily, Aug. 3).

Democrats were hoping to approve a climate package through budget reconciliation last year but Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chair Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) balked at a larger bill in December.

To secure Manchin’s support, Democrats agreed to some provisions to encourage fossil fuel production and vowed to push a permitting reform bill next month (E&E Daily, Aug. 2). Republicans have said they won’t make that deal easy to fulfill.

Democrats voted down Republican energy and environment amendments during what’s known as vote-a-rama. The party’s strategy was to take tough votes to keep the agreement intact.

The House is planning on returning to Capitol Hill on Friday to approve the Senate-passed reconciliation package.