As gas prices soar, Biden’s climate ambitions crumble

Ahead of this fall’s midterm elections, Republicans have stepped up attacks on Mr. Biden’s climate agenda. The Republican National Committee has launched a campaign to register voters at gas stations across the country, in an effort to link high prices at the pump to Mr. Biden’s policies.

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

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

“Fifty percent by 2030 has always been an ambitious goal,” said David G. Victor, a climate policy expert at the University of California, San Diego. “I never thought it was possible. It certainly won’t 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 designed to galvanize markets. wind and solar energy and electric vehicles. If passed, it could cut the country’s emissions by around 25% by 2030, coming halfway to the goal promised by Mr Biden.

The House passed the bill last year, but it stalled in the Senate in December, when Senator Manchin said he would not vote for it. Sen. Manchin’s vote is critical to passing the bill in the equally divided Senate, where no Republican is expected to vote for the measure.

In recent days, Senator Manchin has hinted that he is ready to discuss a scaled-down version of the bill, including some of the clean energy tax credits. He said in an interview last week that “there is no formal negotiation” over the text of a bill. “Just a lot of back and forth chatter.”

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