The Biden administration is pushing lawmakers to include more than $500 billion in funding toward climate-friendly energy practices in the Democrat-backed social spending bill, White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain confirmed on Tuesday.
Klain said the spending bill would mark a “historic investment” toward Biden’s goal of cutting carbon emissions. The $500 billion toward climate initiatives would constitute a significant chunk of the spending bill, which is expected to cost approximately $2 trillion, depending on the outcome of ongoing negotiations.
“Just to put that in perspective, the entire Department of Energy over the next 10 years is going to spend $450 billion,” Klain said during an appearance at The Hill’s “A More Perfect Union” event. “We’re talking about an investment in climate change larger than the entire Department of Energy. We just now have to go get that done. I think we’re making a lot of progress in that regard.”
The spending bill’s climate component has been a key subject of debate between moderate and progressive Democrats. Biden’s original vision for the spending bill called for $600 billion in climate-related investments.
Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., has effectively blocked the inclusion of Biden’s Clean Electricity Performance Program, a $150 billion initiative that would reward utility firms for transitioning to clean energy and penalize those that do not.
While lawmakers have yet to finalize the climate proposals, the spending bill is expected to include various incentives for industrial sector decarbonization, expanded access to green energy systems and grants aimed at rewarding the agricultural sector for cutting emissions, Axios reported, citing a source familiar with the matter.
Last week, Biden said Manchin was open to the possibility of shifting funds initially meant for the CEPP toward tax incentives for green energy practices and the development of climate-friendly technologies.