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How the Senate Democrats' $ 3.5 trillion budget tackles climate change

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., And President Joe Biden arrive for a Senate Democratic luncheon in the U.S. Capitol on July 14, 2021.

Drew Angerer | Getty Images News | Getty Images

President Joe Biden and the Senate Democrats have promised to advance a $ 3.5 trillion budget resolution framework that would fund a clean energy transition and climate change action.

The draft, which includes almost every element of the President's American family plan – including funding for childcare, paid vacation and education – comes after Biden's climate proposals were removed from the bipartisan infrastructure deal during negotiations with Senate Republicans.

The plan includes tax incentives for clean energy and electric vehicles, as well as large investments to move the economy away from fossil fuels and towards renewable sources like wind and solar.

The resolution also proposes a clean energy standard, a mandate that requires some of US electricity to come from renewable sources.

Such a mandate has widespread support from environmental activists and academics, who say it is critical to meet the president's commitment to cut carbon emissions in half over the next decade and get the US on track to reduce carbon by 2050. to become neutral.

The Democrats want to pass the bill in a party vote this summer. If the budgetary decision goes into effect, it would be the largest legislative push in US history to fight climate change.

The last major attempt to pass a climate bill was in 2009, when the Democrats in Congress under former President Barack Obama did not approve a carbon pricing system.

The resolution includes the creation of a civilian climate corps program for young people that would create more jobs that address climate change and help preserve the planet.

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Funding is also proposed for energy-efficient building weathering and electrification projects, as well as methane gas reductions and import charges for polluters, to increase revenue and step up efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Progressive Senate Democrats have so far praised the inclusion of climate policy in the resolution. Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Chairman of the Budgets Committee, said earlier this week the agreement will "initiate the process of making this great country a world leader in transforming our energy system."

However, Senator Joe Manchin, DW.V., the moderate Democrat whose support for getting the bill through may be critical, told reporters that he was “very, very worried ”.

"I know they have the climate stake here, and I'm worried about that," said Manchin, chairman of the Senate's committee on energy and natural resources. The Democrat did not rule out his support for the resolution.

EPO Administrator Michael Regan said Wednesday that including a clean energy standard in the resolution had "a very positive response from many people on both sides of the aisle".

"There are things for the American people that equate to jobs, global competitiveness, a strong infrastructure and preparedness for climate change," Regan said in an interview with NPR.

Congress is working on the resolution alongside the $ 1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure plan that is still being drawn up.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Said he wants to vote on the budget resolution and infrastructure bill before the Senate pauses in August.

– CNBC's Christina Wilkie contributed to this report.

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