Inside the Greenhouse is a monthly update on FCNL’s environmental advocacy and the emerging climate issues that impact our work.
New Climate Policies Delayed as BBB Stalls
December proved to be disappointing to climate change policy advocates as progress on the Build Back Better Act (BBB) stalled. The bill contains extensive provisions to address the climate crisis.
The delay is a result of Sen. Joe Manchin’s (WV) Dec. 19 announcement, in which he stated that he would not vote for the bill in its current form. BBB contains crucial provisions to address the climate crisis. Any delay in passing this bill is a delay in rolling out climate-saving policies.
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This news came as a disappointment but not a loss. With the holidays over, lawmakers are continuing to negotiate the size and scope of this potentially transformational legislation.
There are a few potential avenues for the bill. Negotiations may continue to water down the BBB until Sen. Manchin finds the package agreeable enough to vote on. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (NY) could push for a (likely unsuccessful) January vote, or delay the vote until negotiations are complete.
The good news for the bill is that the main disagreements are not over its climate provisions. These policies, which would lay a critical groundwork in the United States’ response to the climate crisis, are largely supported by Manchin and other Democrats. Whatever path BBB takes, FCNL will work to ensure that the current climate provisions remain in the final version.
In the meantime, the Senate will focus on voting rights legislation. Voting rights are essential to protecting our democracy and ensuring a just future—outcomes that will benefit climate policy today and in the future.
News and Updates
FCNL’s Energy and Environment Work in 2022
As we review our program focuses for the coming year, here are a few areas we would like to engage more on:
- Environmental justice and climate equity in the United States and abroad
- Energy poverty in developing countries
- Bolstering dialogue with Republicans and encouraging bipartisanship
Let us know what your environmental priorities are this year by attending our Call to Conscience or replying to this email!
New Rule Limits Car Emissions
The Environmental Protection Agency signed a new rule in December that limits the tailpipe of emissions of new cars. This is positive progress toward the Biden administration’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 50% by 2030—but regulations alone won’t be enough.
Clean energy tax credits in the Build Back Better Act will encourage consumers to transition to electric vehicles and drive the infrastructure development necessary for them. Both of these policies are essential for getting us closer to a clean, green future.
Wildfires Hit Colorado
Wildfires devastated Boulder County, Colorado last week. The Boulder area, normally snow-heavy in December, was abnormally warm last month, which set the stage for wildfires that burned nearly 1,000 houses. As we hold those impacted in the Light, we must remember that our climate policies need to include support for climate adaption so that no communities are left behind.
What We’re Reading:
- The Year in Climate Photos
- State Climate Policy Map
- Implementing the Clean Energy Investments in US Bipartisan Infrastructure Law
- Green Banks Gain Ground as Communities Strive for Climate Action
- As we begin the new year, we find inspiration in this excerpt from Maya Angelou’s “On the Pulse of Morning”: “Lift up your eyes upon / The day breaking for you. / Give birth again / To the dream.”