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Energy & Environment House passes landmark climate bill

The largest climate bill in U.S. history is headed to President Bidens desk, and also a federal judge restores a freeze on coal leasing on public lands.

House sends climate bill to Biden in party-line vote

House Democrats passed their sweeping tax, climate and healthcare bill on Friday, sending the $740 billion legislation to President Bidens desk and securing a substantial victory for Democrats significantly less than three months prior to the midterm elections.

  • The bill, titled the Inflation Reduction Act, passed the home in a 220-207 party-line vote. Four Republicans didn’t vote, whilst every Democrat voted in support.

  • House passage came four days following the Senate approved the bill in a party-line vote, with Vice President Harris casting a tie-breaking vote.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) touted the bill on the home floor during debate on Friday, arguing that it saves the earth while keeping additional money in your pockets.

This bill, the Inflation Reduction Act, a package for individuals, escalates the leverage of the general public interest on the special interests, and expands health insurance and financial security now and for generations ahead, she added.

Passage through Congress marks the culmination greater than per year of negotiations among Senate Democrats on a spending package.

The legislation increase taxes on corporations, address climate change and lower the costs of prescription medications, all while lowering the deficit.

The package specifically includes a lot more than $369 billion in energy security and climate investments and $64 billion to expand Affordable Care Act subsidies for just two years.

Refresher on climate and energy provisions in the bill:

  • Tax credits targeted at deploying commercial wind, solar, nuclear, hydrogen along with other no or low-carbon energies

  • Tax credits targeted at consumer energy efficiency and household clean energy generation in addition to electric vehicles, although EV credits include stipulations that could make it problematic for many cars to qualify

  • Creating an incentive-and-fee program targeted at cutting methane emissions from coal and oil production

  • Making the continuing future of solar and wind energy on public lands and waters depending on coal and oil lease sales and requiring additional sales in the near term

  • Provisions targeted at helping communities that face disproportionate degrees of pollution

Judge reinstates Obama-era coal leasing moratorium

A federal judge on Friday restored a 2016 moratorium on coal leasing on federal lands that were overturned by the Trump administration.

In the ruling, Judge Brian Morris of the District of Montana, an Obama appointee, ordered the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to reimpose the moratorium until it has conducted a far more thorough environmental analysis.

  • Former Trump-appointed Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke had reversed the Obama-era hold in 2017. In January, the Biden administrationrescinded Zinkes order but didn’t reimpose the moratorium.

  • Leasing of federal lands for coal mining accounted for approximately 40 percent of U.S. coal production in 2015.

Morris had previously sided in 2019 with a coalition of tribal and environmental groups, ordering a fresh environmental analysis beneath the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Calling the brand new analysis inadequate, the groups sued again in2020.

BLMs NEPA analysis must have considered the result of restarting coal leasing from the forward-looking perspective, including connected actions, Morris wrote. The status quo that existed prior to the Zinke Order was a moratorium on coal leasing.

As the baseline alternative must think about the status quo, BLM was necessary to begin its analysis from that time.

GRIJALVA WANTS PERMITTING DEAL TO BE STANDALONE VOTE

Rep. Ral Grijalva (D-Ariz.) told The Hill on Friday he will push for the permitting deal between Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Democratic leadership to become a standalone vote instead of mounted on another vehicle that could incentivize more of his colleagues to vote for this.

Grijalva said he and a small number of colleagues planned to create a request on Friday that the vote on an agreement he fears will weaken environmental standards be considered a standalone.

He said he hopes the reforms aren’t mounted on must-pass legislation like a continuing resolution, which will keep the federal government funded temporarily in the lack of an appropriations bill.

Were likely to start early to urge another vote, said Grijalva, chairman of the home Natural Resources Committee and former co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.

Im likely to make my requestand I am hoping they understand. This is simply not attempting to torpedo anything, that is saying the [continuing resolution] and the budget is crucial, yes, but lets do that other one where everybody is accountable, he added.

Not part ofthe talks:He acknowledged that there surely is a deal between Manchin and Senate Majortiy Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) to advance the permitting reform deal, but said he doesnt feel an obligation to uphold a deal he didn’t help negotiate.

I dont feel an obligationto support the offer, Grijalva said. I didnt shake hands, I wasnt portion of the negotiations.

When Manchin and Schumer announced that they had reached a deal on the climate and tax legislation, in addition they agreed to use up reforms to environmentally friendly reviews which are required to be able to permit energy or other construction projects.

They said they reached an agreement with President Biden and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to pass the changes prior to the end of the fiscal year in October.

WHAT WERE READING

  • Even low degrees of air pollution may damage health, study finds (The Guardian)
  • Estonia Never Had a need to Import Gas by Ship. Until It Did. (THE BRAND NEW York Times)
  • All bad options as Biden administration faces Western water crisis (Politico)
  • Exclusive: U.S. questioned Cheniere pollution controls during LNG plant permitting (Reuters)
  • A disastrous megaflood is arriving at California, experts say, also it may be the priciest natural disaster ever sold (CNN)

ICYMI

Thats it for today, thanks for reading. Browse the HillsEnergy & Environment pagefor the most recent news and coverage. Well see you in a few days.

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