(The Hill) — Climate activists are feeling hopeful after Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) reached an agreement to move forward with legislation that includes energy and climate provisions.
While the senators did not specify exactly what will be in the package, they said it will cut carbon emissions by approximately 40% by 2030 and will spend $369.75 billion on energy security and climate change programs over 10 years.
Manchin indicated that this spending could help various types of energy, including fossil fuels, in addition to renewables.
As it previously looked like congressional climate change legislation may have been dead, the news was generally met with cheers by activists.
“Wow! We are so excited that Majority Leader Schumer and Senator Manchin have reached a deal that includes climate investments to reduce carbon emissions by roughly 40 percent by 2030, and we are eager to see the details,” said Tiernan Sittenfeld, senior vice president of government affairs at the League of Conservation Voters, in a statement.
“Passing a climate bill should be Congress’ number one priority. The reported agreement between Senator Manchin and Leader Schumer presents the opportunity for a major breakthrough in America’s fight against climate change,” Jamal Raad, executive director of Evergreen Action, said.
Melinda Pierce, the Sierra Club’s legislative director, said in a statement that her group was “encouraged” by the development.
“The Sierra Club is encouraged by the potential of the Senate finally passing bold climate action,” she added. “We are eager to see text of this legislation, and are grateful that Biden and Schumer have remained resolute in finding a path to pass once-in-a-generation investments in our communities, our economy, and our future.”
The progressive Sunrise Movement, meanwhile, offered some criticism of the process.
“The system is rigged when one man, who profits off of fossil fuels, can hold life-saving climate legislation hostage. But if 50 Senators are actually committed to voting for a package that reduces emissions by 40% by 2030, Congress must pass it immediately,” the group tweeted.