The CEPP and BBB vote in the Senate, explained

When it comes to adopting a revolutionary climate policy in the United States, there is always some opposition. Even as the climate crisis becomes increasingly serious and time is running out to address it, the path to reducing emissions and boosting a greener economy is not getting much easier.

A major example in the news right now is the Build Back Better (BBB) ​​plan, a massive political bill that covers everything from reducing emissions in the transport sector to creating jobs to cutting costs. health. And the bill is not just a speech; According to Megan Mahajan, head of energy policy design at the Energy Innovation think tank, the package represents “the most important climate legislation in US history.”

But much of its carbon-reducing power relies on the Clean Energy Performance Program, or CEPP. The proposal, which is summed up in BBB’s text, seeks to accelerate the shift to a fully clean energy grid (something Biden has set a target for in 2035) by giving electric utilities incentives financial resources to boost renewable energies such as solar and wind power. 4 percent each year and penalizing them if they don’t. According to a September report, CEPP alone would increase the U.S. workforce by 7.7 million jobs and inject $ 907 billion into the economy.

Utilities are already investing more in renewables because of the affordability, but the pace is just not fast enough to put the country on the right track, Mahajan said. An annual increase of 4% would bring the energy mix to around 70 to 80% by 2030, while the status quo would place Americans around 48% by the same date.

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“Wind and solar are some of the cheapest resources on the market, so there has been a lot of progress from utilities moving towards them. But CEPP would really step up a gear, ”Mahajan said.

To pass the colossal bill, however, all 50 Democratic senators must vote yes – and the main obstacle so far is Senator Joe Manchin. [D-WVa]. Manchin, who represents a coal-rich state, opposes CEPP, fearing the addition “uses taxpayer money to pay private companies to do things they already do,” a door said. – speech of the politician. E&E News.

Conversely, recent research by Mahajan and his colleagues shows that CEPP is necessary in the fight against CO2. pollution, their political models revealed that the program would reduce U.S. emissions levels from 2005 – when the Kyoto Protocol came into effect – to 2030 by about 45 percent, a big chunk compared to the Biden’s target of 50 to 52 percent. Without it, the country would get only two-thirds of the modeled BBB reduction results, Mahajan says. “It’s a very impressive package, but of course losing the CEPP is a big hole,” she adds.

Of course, there is still hope if the Senate does not adopt the CEPP. Senator Tina Smith [D-TK], a major promoter of CEPP, has already started exploring alternatives in case the program is cut.

“We have to figure out how to fill this gap if not with the clean electricity program,” Smith told the Washington post. “And so these are the things that we are working on.”

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Not to mention that even in a perfect world with CEPP, the United States needs to make other changes to meet the target of 50 to 52 percent less emissions. This opens the door for other entities, from municipalities to regulators like the EPA, to take on greenhouse gas reduction actions.

“Our view is that as much congressional action as possible will be very important in laying the groundwork for achieving the goals, but there is also room for action in state and local governments,” Mahajan said. “States have been really powerful players in emissions reductions in the past, and there is room for further reductions on top of the federal action that we are getting.”

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