Green Party of Kansas City Missouri responds to the Democratic Party's so-called Climate Bill...
What is in the Democrat’s “Climate Bill” and what does the Green Party have to say about it? It is sad that we must point out that any “Climate Bill” that Joe Manchin signs off on is no Climate Bill at all. Here are the horrifying details:
Tax credits for businesses for deployment of lower-carbon and carbon-free energy sources:
- Tax credits are extended for energy production and investment in technologies including wind, solar and geothermal energies. The investment tax credit also now applies to battery storage and biogas. Tax credits to try and bribe the market to do the right thing and not kill us all, as opposed to regulating the market to MAKE SURE that it does the right thing. The market has proven it is happy to take the tax breaks AND continue to expand both fossil fuel and alternative energy options. Only rules telling the market what it will do, can possibly be effective. A growth based economic system (Capitalism) operating in a closed ecosphere (our planet) are not compatible. This is not something that the Democrats can face up to because their big donors will never allow them to.
- Tax credits would be created or extended for additional technologies and energy sources including nuclear energy, hydrogen energy coming from clean sources, biofuels and technology that captures carbon from fossil fuel power plants. Tax credits for big donors to continue environmentally destructive and/or ineffective technologies like nuclear, hydrogen, biofuels, and carbon capture are VERY FAR from the answers to the Climate Crisis that we must act on NOW to avert disaster.
- Many of the incentives also contain bonuses for companies based on how much they pay their workers and offer credits for manufacturing their steel, iron and other components in the U.S. More tax breaks for big donors to do bribe them to do the right thing, as opposed to actually regulate their behavior.
Consumers and businesses get incentives to make cleaner energy choices.
- Tax credits are extended for residential clean energy expenses including rooftop solar, heat pumps and small wind energy systems. Consumers can get credits for 30 percent of expenditures through 2032, and the credit phases down after that. Obviously, tax credits are the only tool in the Democrat toolkit. Weak.
- Tax credits of up to $7,500 are offered to consumers who buy electric vehicles — but this credit comes with stipulations that may make it difficult for vehicles to actually qualify. Tax breaks to try and influence the market. Weak. How about zero interest loans for all property owners to install more wind and solar than they need, allow them to sell the excess back to the energy grid so that they can quickly pay off the loan, and then become energy producers who get a check every month as opposed to pay the big political donors for energy. Oh, we see why the Democrats will never even suggest what the Green Party is already doing in other parts of the world.
- A tax credit would be expanded for energy efficiency in commercial buildings. More weak sauce (insufficient to address this crisis).
Some fossil fuel production on public lands would be bolstered.
- The future of solar and wind on public lands and wind in public waters would be tied to requirements to hold lease sales that open up new oil and gas production. Joe Manchin and his fossil fuel donors rejoice. The only question is, “Why does anyone let them get away with calling this a “Climate Bill?”
- The bill reinstates the results of a recent offshore oil and gas lease sale that was struck down on environmental grounds. The Interior Department would be required to hold at least three more offshore oil and gas lease sales by next October. Oh brother, you’ve got to be joking! One thing that Democrats are good at is taking care of their big donors. This is not a “Climate Bill”, this is a “Fossil Fuel Expansion Bill”. Disgusting and Devastating!
New programs boost investment in climate.
- A new program aims to reduce emissions of the planet-warming gas methane from oil and gas by both providing grants and loans to help companies reign in their emissions and levying fees on producers with excess methane emissions. Keep on drilling, say the Dems, please just belch a little less methane while you’re ending most life on Earth.
- $27 billion would go to a green bank that would provide more incentives for clean energy technology. They ponied up twice this much to pour gas on the Ukrainian conflagration (their big donors in the war industries are very happy with the Democrats as well).
Costs increase for fossil fuel production on public lands.
- Minimum royalties increase for companies to pay the government for oil and gas they extract on public lands and waters. A royalty is added to the extraction of gas that is later burned off or released as waste instead of sold as fuel. The fossil fuel industries have long received nearly free access to our public lands to do their dirty work. Minimal increases on these farcically low fees is just a silly and sad public relations stunt.
Communities that face high pollution burdens get relief.
- $3 billion would go to environmental justice block grants — community-led programs addressing harms from climate change and pollutants, including $20 million for technical assistance at the community level, through fiscal 2026. Every year, the Democrats approve bigger fossil fuel industry subsidies than this to support the polluting of these communities and then make us taxpayers pay to clean up the mess; meanwhile, the fossil fuel companies laugh all the way to the bank.
- More than $3 billion is allocated to funds for air pollution monitoring in low-income communities. Nearly half of the funds — $117 million — would specifically go to communities in close proximity to industrial pollutants. How about making the industries that polluted these communities pay for this? We know why, they own the Democrats (and the Republicans).
- An excise tax on imported petroleum and crude oil products to fund the cleanup of industrial disaster sites increases from 9.7 cents to 16.4 cents per barrel. The reinstatement of the tax is projected to raise $11 billion. The domestic fossil fuel producers love this one, taxing their foreign competitors. Nice payoff for their campaign donations.
- The bill permanently extends and increases the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund, a tax on coal production to finance claims from workers with the condition. Black Lung, caused by long-term exposure to and inhalation of coal dust, is believed to affect at least 10 percent of coal miners with at least 25 years’ experience, according to a 2018 study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. This is an old program (1986) that they have decided not to kill yet, but they would never even propose this now. Yes, make the companies that caused the problem pay to ameliorate the costs. But, better yet, regulate the industry to PREVENT the problems that they cause. Regulating corporate behavior is not in the toolbox that the pay-to-play corporate parties have to work with any more.