February 21, 2024

“These two things have to go hand in hand for my support,” she said.

Some democratic strategists are skeptical of the path to budget consensus. Senator Joe Manchin III. from West Virginia and Senator Kyrsten Sinema from Arizona, both Democrats, have opposed voting for a reconciliation law that does not find Republican support. It is unlikely that Mr Manchin, who represents a coal-rich state, will support a plan to end coal demand.

“I think reconciliation will be just as difficult now as raising the minimum wage earlier this year,” said Rich Gold, an energy and environmental lobbyist and former senior EPA advisor in the Clinton administration, of the Democrats’ failure Use the reconciliation process to raise the minimum wage.

“Having been on this joint for a while, I don’t think there is any way that is politically viable with the Senate Democratic Conference, and there doesn’t seem to be any Republican votes for it,” said Mr. Gold said.

Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski, one of the Republicans involved in the bipartisan infrastructure deal, said she had taken into account the president’s call for utilities to gradually reduce their fossil fuel consumption. “But I think I looked at it and said, ‘Okay, is this really the place you’re going to be focusing on? I don’t want it to be that mandatory standard, ”she said.

Should the Democrats fail to pass the clean electricity standard with this year’s once-in-a-lifetime chance of the budget reconciliation process, it will be nearly impossible to see how it could happen later. Senate proceedings typically require 60 votes to pass laws. The Democrats could lose their scant Senate majority in next year’s mid-term elections, putting an end to Mr Biden’s legislative agenda.

Without a clean electricity standard, Mr Biden could still use utility and tailpipe regulations to try to dampen the emissions. Plus, over the course of a decade, billions in new tax credits to further reduce the cost of wind, solar, and other clean energy technologies, as well as discounts to boost electric vehicle purchases.

“This package would put the country on the right track,” said Christy Goldfuss, senior vice president of energy and environmental policy at the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank.

Recognition…The New York Times

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