Following concerns from a key coal-state Democratic senator, Joe Biden's aggressive climate plan is in jeopardy, hurting the US campaign for global action at next month's climate summit in Glasgow.
West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin has made it clear to the White House that he would not support the Clean Electricity Performance Program, a $150 billion provision contained in the president's $3.5 trillion budget bill that provides incentives for power firms to transition away from fossil fuels.
The provision is one of the primary means by which the Biden administration and many Democrats anticipate the United States to reach its target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% by 2030 compared to 2005 levels.
However, due of Manchin's resistance, it risks getting gutted in the final stages of discussions on Biden's economic programme, which has alarmed many Democrats and climate specialists.
“What sort of authority can the United States have here if we cannot deliver on our own pledge, which includes reducing carbon emissions by 50% within the next the 10 years?” said Michael Mann, professor of atmospheric science at Penn State University, who also warned in a tweet that Manchin threw a “hand grenade” at the Glasgow summit.
Senior Biden administration officials on Sunday played down Manchin’s opposition.
“The administration and the president are committed to bold climate action, exactly what legislative form that takes is what’s being negotiated right now,” said Pete Buttigieg, the transportation secretary, on CNN.
“The bottom line is we have to act on climate, for the good of our children and, by the way, for the good of our economy.”