Industry Still Wary of Biden's Climate Push

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The US oil industry may have avoided the worst after the Biden administration's $3.5 trillion "Build Back Better” legislation saw its price tag and most aggressive climate initiatives slashed. But the $1.75 billion "framework" spending bill that remains still poses a threat, and the legislative battle is far from over on Capitol Hill. Industry lobbyists are leaning on oil state lawmakers to keep policies like a methane fee on oil and gas operations and tax hikes on overseas extraction income out of a final bill. The smaller framework, which includes more than $500 billion in climate spending, is meant to secure votes from recalcitrant moderate Democratic senators. However, key swing vote Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, a top coal and gas-producing state, has balked. Manchin will not move forward on such a “consequential” bill without more time to vet its energy and tax implications, he said. Regardless, the Biden administration has sounded optimistic notes that Manchin will get on board, and Democratic leadership has indicated plans to try to pass the spending bill and a bipartisan infrastructure bill by end-November. “We feel very positive this is going to happen,” US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said Wednesday, noting that the some $320 billion in clean energy and electric vehicle tax credits are the “long pole in the tent” and less controversial than other energy provisions.

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