To court Manchin, Dems could OK climate funds for coal and gas plants

Climate advocates consider that effort, called the Clean Electricity Performance Program, one of the key elements of the Democrats ’effort to accelerate the transition to solar and wind power and slash the greenhouse gas emissions. But Manchin (DW.Va.) has raised conceptual issues both public and private, placing its inclusion in any final compromise measure on the reconciliation questionable.

People familiar with the discussions said lawmakers and the White House could raise the program’s carbon emissions factor, a figure that determines which power plants will qualify as clean energy. Adding that figure from the 0.1 metric tonne level of carbon dioxide equivalent per megawatt-hour approved by the House Energy and Commerce Committee could power natural gas and coal-fired power plants equipped with extraction equipment. of carbon to qualify for payments, which could help Manchin win.

“That number is transferable,” one of the men said.

Another person said the conversation was linked to a separate discussion that would change the eligibility requirements for a credit card that would offer incentives on carbon extraction and storage technology. The man said that changes to that credit rating, known as 45Q, would not be enough on their own to convince companies to launch new projects – unless the CEPP was changed to make it easier for plants. of coal power equipped with carbon capture to participate.

President Joe Biden has pledged to put the country on a path to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50 to 52 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. He also wants to reach net-zero emissions on the electricity grid. before 2035.

Biden’s climate platform allows for the deployment of carbon capture and storage technology, which proponents say will prevent heat-stimulating gases from reaching the atmosphere. While that technology would not yet be economically viable on its own for the U.S. electricity sector without subsidies, trade unions connected to the energy industry are favoring the technology, saying it could provide benefits. work even as the country moves to cleaner fuel sources.

Some of the unions sent a letter on Friday obtained by POLITICO to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, calling for CEPP to better accommodate carbon extraction technology.

But some environmental groups have ignored carbon extraction as a false solution to combat climate change, complaining that it would prolong the use of fossil fuels that would still cause local pollution problems from extraction. of oil, coal and natural gas.

“We’re very clear that we need to handle this” at current levels, said Lauren Maunus, an advocate with the Sunrise Movement.

A spokesman for the Energy Energy committee did not comment on whether the carbon emission factor was the topic of discussions.

“Chairman (Frank) Pallone is committed to implementing the strongest clean energy program possible, and he continues to work with other congressional leaders to make that happen,” a spokesman for POLITICO said in a statement.

Together with the CEPP, Democrats in the House seek to expand tax credits for renewable energy, upgrade the nation’s network of power transmission lines to better accommodate new solar and wind farms, and spend billions of dollars to grow the supporting infrastructure for electric vehicles.

Democrats also called for the imposition of a bill on methane emitted by the oil and gas industry as well as new money to launch a Climate Conservation Corps, provide grants for environmental justice and expand energy efficiency. at home and appliance electrification rebates.

Leave a Comment