By Elisabeth Robbins
The Yolo County Chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby is deeply disappointed at the news that the reconciliation package the Senate is considering will not contain any climate measures.
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) has rejected the climate elements of the package, citing concerns over inflation. Frankly, Americans need protection from the volatility of a fossil fuel-driven world. A clean energy economy would provide energy security and price stability, and the climate measures in this package would have helped speed that transition.
Among our other climate advocacy in this Congress, Citizens’ Climate Lobby volunteers have worked tirelessly since last July to push for meaningful climate policies in a reconciliation package. We held 960 meetings with House and Senate offices, generated more than 48,000 calls, and sent more than 164,000 personal messages to Congress since the reconciliation process began in earnest in July 2021. That work helped bring Congress remarkably close to major climate action — within one vote. We will not stop pushing for our lawmakers to agree and to act.
A new report from Rhodium Group shows just how much action is still needed. President Biden pledged that America would reduce our emissions 50% by 2030, but the U.S. is on track to reduce emissions only 30% by that deadline. Without climate measures in reconciliation, the U.S. is missing the opportunity to lead the world in fighting climate change.
This week, Canadians are receiving the first quarterly checks from their carbon fee and dividend policy. Next year, the EU’s carbon border adjustment mechanism begins. Today’s news has put the U.S. further behind the curve, but it remains imperative that we act on climate to keep our businesses and manufacturing competitive, protect people’s health, and stabilize our climate.
And to be clear, Congress’ failure thus far to take enough climate action does not lie only at the feet of Sen. Manchin. Half of the Senate — 50 Republicans — have yet to bring a conservative climate solution to the table that is equal to the scale of the problem. Citizens’ Climate Lobby will continue to apply grassroots pressure on both Democrats and Republicans in order to create a future where significant climate policy not only passes, but enjoys bipartisan support.
To that end, we will spend the next few months elevating climate as a central midterm election issue. Anyone running to represent Americans — whether in a red or blue district or state — should understand the scale of the climate threat and have robust, committed plans to address it. Our volunteers will press the issue in local media, at candidate town halls, and at their own events throughout the campaign season, with the goal of increasing every candidate’s climate ambition. A livable world depends on it.