White House Sets Red Line Around Climate Goals in Reconciliation

Remarks come amid progressive pushback on infrastructure deal Tax credits, clean energy mandate among must haves: adviser

Gina McCarth - Bloomberg-EnergyNewsBeat.com

Major climate measures sought by the White House that were left on the cutting room floor during infrastructure negotiations with Republicans will be non-negotiable items as the administration sets its sights on the next legislative vehicle, a White House official said Wednesday.

A mandate that could require utilities across the nation to generate clean electricity and a tax-credit extension worth hundreds of billions of dollars for the wind, solar and other renewable energy industries are must-haves in a package being put together by the White House, Gina McCarthy, the White House’s domestic climate adviser said.

“We do have some bottom lines in this,” McCarthy said during a forum held by Punchbowl News. “We need to make sure we are sending a signal we want renewable energy and it will win in the marketplace.”

In addition, McCarthy said the White House plans to seek tax credits and consumer rebates for electric vehicles in the plan, which Democrats plan to attempt using the the so-called budget reconciliation procedure that avoids a Republican filibuster in the Senate. However, with the party having only razor thin control of the Senate, the effort is far from certain.

McCarthy’s remarks come amid pushback from progressives that a bipartisan infrastructure deal reach between lawmakers and President Joe Biden last week left out sweeping investments in renewables, the power grid and electric vehicles that the White House had called for.

The $579 billion infrastructure deal, announced Thursday by Biden and a group of Democratic and Republican senators, doesn’t include a mandate sought by the White House that could have required utilities to produce power only from carbon-free sources. The measure, known as a Clean Energy Standard, was seen a one of the key drivers in achieving the lofty climate goals announced by the White House this spring to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030.

In announcing his $2.25 trillion infrastructure plan in the spring, Biden called for $174 billion for electric vehicle initiatives and a 10-year extension of coveted tax credits for wind, solar and other renewable energy sources, among other measures he said were needed to catalyze investments in a clean energy economy and encourage low-emission technologies necessary to constrain global warming.

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Stuart Turley is President and CEO of Sandstone Group, a top energy data, and finance consultancy working with companies all throughout the energy value chain. Sandstone helps both small and large-cap energy companies to develop customized applications and manage data workflows/integration throughout the entire business. With experience implementing enterprise networks, supercomputers, and cellular tower solutions, Sandstone has become a trusted source and advisor.   He is also the Executive Publisher of www.energynewsbeat.com, the best source for 24/7 energy news coverage, and is the Co-Host of the energy news video and Podcast Energy News Beat. Energy should be used to elevate humanity out of poverty. Let's use all forms of energy with the least impact on the environment while being sustainable without printing money. Stu is also a co-host on the 3 Podcasters Walk into A Bar podcast with David Blackmon, and Rey Trevino. Stuart is guided by over 30 years of business management experience, having successfully built and help sell multiple small and medium businesses while consulting for numerous Fortune 500 companies. He holds a B.A in Business Administration from Oklahoma State and an MBA from Oklahoma City University.