U.S. Senator Joe Manchin, a hardened neanderthal who has occasionally been mentioned in this blog has it seems had an about face on a bill before Congress which amongst other things aims to reduce U.S. carbon emissions by 40% by 2030.* The bill has been floating around for quite some time and would form part of President Biden’s legacy. It has been watered down considerably since it was first proposed. The devoted cynic in me tells me that if Joe Manchin is now supporting it the bill must have been watered down almost to the point of worthlessness. Indeed, a 40% cut in carbon emissions would need extremely fast action at all levels of governance, finance and co-operation, something notably absent of late (e.g. think of the Supreme Court curtailing the powers of the Environmental Protection Agency). But I suppose there is here a glimmer of hope, always providing the Democrats can get the bill into law before the mid-term elections. Let’s remember that Manchin’s vote is so important because the Republicans are loathe to do anything about climate change, and most pundits predict they will retake at least one house of Congress in November. Biden’s popularity ratings are at an all-time low.
Even if the bill becomes law, there will be multiple opportunities for backsliding, on the grounds of ‘events dear boy, events.’ Here in blighty we witness Liz Truss seeking to garner popularity by dropping a green energy levy. Her stance may change of course if somebody whispers in her ear that nuclear could be classed as a ‘green’ energy source (as it has been in the E.U.).
*A figure I am sure which has been plucked out of thin air, like many of the political targets on climate change (unlike what one might term as scientific targets).