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Breaking news Coal and gas-fired power plants could win climate funds to attract Manchin support

Breaking news

Climate advocates see this effort, called the Clean Electricity Performance Program, a critical part of Democrats’ efforts to accelerate the transition to solar and wind power and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But Manchin (DW.Va.) has raised issues with the concept both publicly and privately, questioning its inclusion in any final compromise reconciliation bill.

People familiar with the talks said lawmakers and the White House could increase the program’s carbon emissions factor, a number that determines which power plants would be considered clean energy. Raising that figure from the level of 0.1 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per megawatt hour approved by the House of Commons Energy and Commerce Committee could enable natural gas and coal-fired power plants equipped with carbon capture equipment to benefit from payments, which could help earn Manchin.

“This number is mobile,” said one of the people.

The other person said the conversation is tied to a separate discussion that would change the eligibility requirements for a tax credit that would provide incentives for carbon capture and storage technology. The person said changes to this tax credit, known as 45Q, alone would not be enough to convince companies to launch new projects – unless the CEPP is changed to make it easier to participate. coal-fired power stations equipped with carbon capture.

President Joe Biden has pledged to put the country on track to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 50 to 52 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. He also wants to achieve emissions net zero on the electricity grid by 2035.

Biden’s climate platform enabled the deployment of carbon capture and storage technology, which his supporters say would prevent heat-trapping gases from reaching the atmosphere. While this technology is not yet economically viable on its own for the U.S. electricity sector without subsidies, unions linked to the energy industry are supportive of the technology, saying it could provide jobs even if the country shifting to cleaner fuel sources.

Several of these unions on Friday sent a letter obtained by POLITICO to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, calling for the CEPP to take carbon capture technology more into account.

But some environmental groups reject carbon capture as a bogus solution to tackling climate change, complaining that it would prolong the use of fossil fuels which would still cause local pollution problems related to oil, coal mining. and natural gas.

“We have been very clear that we need to keep it” at current levels, said Lauren Maunus, advocacy director for the Sunrise Movement.

A spokesperson for the House Energy committee did not comment on whether the carbon emissions factor was the subject of the discussions.

“President (Frank) Pallone is focused on putting in place the strongest clean energy investment program possible, and he continues to work with other congressional leaders to make it happen,” the door said. -speak to POLITICO in a press release.

Along with CEPP, House Democrats are looking to expand tax credits for renewable energy, modernize the nation’s network of power transmission lines to better accommodate new solar and wind farms, and spend billions of dollars to develop charging infrastructure for electric vehicles.

Democrats are also calling for a fee to be imposed on methane emitted by the oil and gas industry as well as new funds to launch a Climate Conservation Corps, provide grants for environmental justice, and expand home energy efficiency and sheds. on the electrification of appliances.