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Climate change legislation included in coronavirus relief deal

Industry pressure to pass the bill has won support from Republicans, despite Mr. Trump’s opposition to climate policy. At least 16 Republicans have signed on as sponsors of the legislation, which was co-drafted by Senator Thomas Carper of Delaware, the rank Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, and Senator John Kennedy, Republican of Louisiana. Mr. Kennedy’s state is home to hundreds of chemical manufacturing facilities; he designed the bill as a job creator for these companies.

“American jobs are at stake and we can protect them by keeping the United States competitive in global industry,” he said. “To create thousands of jobs, save billions of dollars and protect the environment, we must invest in alternatives to HFCs.”

Environmental groups have celebrated the support of Republicans like Mr. Kennedy. “It shows what we’ve seen from this election – voters want climate action and even some Republicans want climate action, and the Republicans leading this HFC deal are starting to get it,” Matthew said. Davis, legislative director of the League. conservation voters.

In addition to the HFC bill, the largest spending program also included a bipartisan renewable energy bill, co-sponsored by Senator Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska, and Joe Manchin, Democrat of West Virginia, president. and senior member of the Senate Energy Committee. .

The bill would not appropriate any new government spending, but it would allow $ 35 billion in existing government funding to be spent on clean energy programs over the next five years, including $ 1 billion for storage technology. energy that could serve as batteries for wind and solar power. , $ 1.5 billion for new solar technology demonstration projects, $ 2.1 billion for advanced nuclear technology, and $ 450 million for technology to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

The bill would also order federal agencies to update government programs that monitor renewable energy spending.

“Some of these will be the first updates to these programs since the iPhone was first used,” said Josh Freed, energy policy analyst at Third Way, a center-left research organization. “This is vitally important because energy systems were very different 10 years ago. There were hardly any EVs on the road, very few solar panels on the roofs, Tesla did not exist.

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