Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Environment and Climate in the Republican Spending Bill: Oil Exports in Exchange for Clean Energy, Air, Water, and Green Climate Funding

Democrats made a deal with the devil that saw them offer support for oil exports in exchange for Republican support for renewable energy, clean air and water and assistance to poorer nations to help them manage climate change.

The $1.1 trillion spending bill unveiled on Wednesday December 16, will keep most of the federal government funded through September, however, it includes many policy instructions also known as riders.

Lifting a ban on exporting crude oil is a trade-off by Democrats to secure extensions of green energy tax incentives for wind and solar. Democrats also made the deal to stave off Republican efforts to stymie the EPA's clean power plan and curtail the EPA's expanded clean water regulations.

The EPA's efforts are opposed by Republicans who claim to be looking out for the best interests of the American economy. However, in the last couple of decades, the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments alone generated $2 trillion in benefits, at a cost of only $65 million to industry. Over the coming decades new EPA actions will save many trillions more.

The concession on oil exports also averted Republican efforts to stonewall the President's contributions to the green climate fund.

Click here to see the bill.

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