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Biden promises ambitious climate action. Here’s what he could actually do.

If these spending measures can’t secure enough Republican support to defeat a filibuster, Schumer plans to use a budget process, called reconciliation, to bolster climate spending and tax policy. Presidents Trump and George W. Bush used reconciliation to pass their huge tax cuts, and Mr. Obama passed part of the Affordable Care Act using the rule.

Over a year ago, Mr Schumer tasked Democrats on Senate committees responsible for climate policy to start crafting climate-related tax legislation that could be bundled into a larger budget bill. These policies could include extending tax credits for wind and solar energy or increasing royalties for oil and gas drilling on public lands. They could possibly include a tax on carbon dioxide emissions, although passing such a measure would violate Mr. Biden’s pledge not to raise taxes for families with incomes below $ 400,000.

“Nothing is on the table,” Mr. Schumer said.

Many Republicans are expected to oppose these efforts, saying they could harm the economy, but some state gas and coal Democrats who opposed the gas bill Mr. Obama’s cap and trade say they have changed over the past decade as policy. and the reality of climate change have become more urgent.

“What has changed is that the situation has worsened,” said Senator Jon Tester, Democrat of Montana, who said in 2010 that he was concerned that Mr. Obama’s bill would harm the people. agriculture and coal industries of his state.

“We’re supposed to have our first frost tonight – in October, a month late,” Tester said, speaking by phone from his farm in Big Sandy, Mt. “You really have to have your head buried in the sand not to see that we have a problem.”

Pennsylvania Democrat and Catholic Senator Bob Casey said his thinking was in part shaped by Pope Francis’ 2015 encyclical, which calls for transformational change to stop climate change and environmental degradation.

“We cannot wait 10 more years,” he said. “I don’t think we can wait five years.”

The other Democrats in the Coal State are not here. West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, who drew a copy of Mr. Obama’s climate bill in a campaign ad in 2010 and relaunched it in 2018, will play a key role in any climate debate , in particular if he becomes president of the Senate on energy. Committee.

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