Lawmakers Renew Bipartisan Energy and Climate Talks
In the last two weeks, Sens. Joe Manchin (WV) and Lisa Murkowski (AK) hosted conversations to discuss the potential of a bipartisan energy bill. Seven Democrats and four Republican senators attended the latest meeting to discuss what types of provisions could garner bipartisan support.
While the prospect of bipartisan energy legislation is promising, engaging with a stand-alone bill now could harm the chances of getting a broader reconciliation bill passed by July 4. A reconciliation package is the best chance Congress has to take strong climate action and invest in crucial social programs like the expanded Child Tax Credit.
Congressional leaders and the White House still have the capacity to address climate change through reconciliation, but they need to know they have our support. Write, call, and meet with your members of Congress to remind them that a reconciliation bill has the potential to be transformative for the climate and for families.
Join our twice-monthly Calls to Conscience! Register here for the next call on May 19.
Art and Understanding Climate Change
In honor of Earth Day, FCNL’s lead climate lobbyist, Clarence Edwards, served as the keynote speaker at the April 23 Eco Art Symposium at the San Francisco Art Institute. The event focused on the role of the arts in helping society better understand our impact on the planet and come to terms with the impact of climate change. He also interviewed artists Robert Dawson and Ellen Manchester, who have photographed and chronicled the changes wrought by climate change.
Speedbump for Solar Energy
The Commerce Department agreed to investigate claims that China is sidestepping tariffs on solar panels by outsourcing their production to other Southeast Asian countries. If found to be true, retroactive tariffs could be administered to imports from these countries, potentially disrupting the solar industry at a time of rapid expansion. News of this investigation has already resulted in delayed or cancelled solar projects, due to anticipation of higher prices and limited supply of solar panels. Dozens of solar company executives met with their members of Congress yesterday to urge them to end the investigation.
Win for Wildlife in Arctic Circle
Last week, the Biden administration reversed a Trump-era rule that had opened up 82% of the Western Arctic Reserve in Alaska for fossil fuel drilling. The new management plan limits potential drilling to 52% of the 32-million-acre reserve and prohibits the construction of new fossil fuel infrastructure on lands that are important to Alaskan waterfowl and caribou herds. Last year, the administration suspended drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which lies east of the Western Arctic Reserve.
What We’re Reading:
- Climate Advocates Fear that Manchin’s Bipartisan Energy Push is ‘All Smoke and Mirrors’
- Solar Farm Offers Preview of Clean Energy Future
- Lake Powell Officials Face an Impossible Choice in the West’s Megadrought: Water or Electricity
- Why Our Response to Climate Change must be Grounded in Climate Justice