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As gas prices soar, Biden’s climate ambitions falter

Looking ahead to this fall’s midterm elections, Republicans have ramped up their attacks on Mr. Biden’s climate agenda. The Republican National Committee has launched a campaign to register voters at gas stations across the country to link high prices at the pump to Mr. Biden’s policies.

“It’s kind of a perfect storm,” wrote David Axelrod, a Democratic political strategist and former top adviser to President Barack Obama, in an email. “The economic disruption caused by the pandemic and the war in Ukraine has led to record gas prices and with it enormous pressure to produce more oil and gas. All in an election year.”

Experts say it’s now impossible for Mr Biden to deliver on his promise to the world that the United States will halve its emissions by 2030, the amount scientists say is needed if the planet’s largest economy does its part intended to avoid the most catastrophic consequences of global warming.

“Fifty percent by 2030 has always been an ambitious goal,” said David G. Victor, climate policy expert at the University of California, San Diego. “I never thought it was achievable. That’s definitely not going to happen now.”

Mr. Biden’s best hope for climate action lies in the $2.2 trillion climate and social spending legislation stalled on Capitol Hill, which includes about $300 billion in tax incentives to boost markets for wind – and to boost solar energy and electric vehicles. If enacted, it could cut the country’s emissions by about 25 percent by 2030, hitting about half the target Mr. Biden promised.

The House of Representatives passed the bill last year, but the Senate stalled in December when Senator Manchin said he would not vote for it. Senator Manchin’s vote is critical to passing the bill in a evenly divided Senate, where no Republicans are expected to vote for the measure.

In recent days, Senator Manchin has indicated that he is willing to discuss a slimmed-down version of the bill, including some of the clean energy tax credits. He said in an interview last week that “there are no formal negotiations” on the text of the law. “Just a lot of chatter back and forth.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/01/climate/biden-climate-change.html As gas prices soar, Biden’s climate ambitions falter

Ian Walker

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