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Climate Experts Say The Clean Electricity Program Is Vital. Can Democrats Save It?

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On this edition of Your Call, we’re discussing the Clean Energy Performance Program, which would pay electric utility companies that switch from fossil fuels to renewable or clean energy sources and fine those that don’t. The electricity sector produces about a quarter of the country’s greenhouse gases.

According to a report in last week’s New York Times, the program will likely be dropped from the reconciliation bill, according to congressional staffers and lobbyists familiar with the matter. The Times reports that Senator Joe Manchin, the Democrat from coal-rich West Virginia who has personal financial ties to the coal industry, has told the White House that he strongly opposes the clean electricity performance program. But during a CNN town hall on Thursday night, President Biden said he would protect $150 billion in clean energy funding if the program is dropped from the Democrats’ bill.

Leah Stokes, an expert on climate policy, who has been advising Senate Democrats on how to craft the program, told the New York Times this would be the strongest climate change policy ever enacted by the United States. “We fundamentally need it to meet our climate goals. That’s just the reality."

Guest:

Jamal Raad, co-founder and executive director for Evergreen Action, a group of Governor Jay Inslee for America staffers who are on a mission to defeat the climate crisis and create 8 million jobs in a clean energy economy

Web Resources:

NBC News: Clean energy program likely to be dropped because of Manchin's objections

Evergreen: REALITY CHECK: The Clean Electricity Transition We Need To Meet President Biden’s Goals Isn’t “Already Happening”

Lea is a producer for Your Call on KALW Local Public Radio. She graduated from the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY in 2018.
Rose Aguilar has been the host of Your Call since 2006. She became a regular Friday media roundtable guest in 2001.