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Senate Democrats Pass Climate Bill

Senate Democrats on Sunday narrowly passed the $740-billion Inflation Reduction Act, announced earlier this month by Senator Joe Manchin and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

The Senate vote was tied at 50-50, and Vice President Kamala Harris had to cast the deciding vote.

The amended version that the Senate approved this week sees $370 billion for various initiatives and projects aimed at mitigating the effects of climate change. It is, according to Axios, the biggest climate change spending package ever passed by Senate.

According to analyses cited by Axios, this package, along with other emission-reduction initiatives, could lead to a reduction in U.S. emissions of 40 percent by 2030.

The climate change portion of the bill includes money for EV makers and EV buyers, for wind and solar energy installations, and for EV charging stations.

"It's what the American people want," Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer told media ahead of the vote, as quoted by Reuters. "We're prioritizing the middle class, working families, those struggling to get to the middle class, instead of what Republicans do: prioritize those at the very top."

Republican Senator Chuck Grassley responded with, "The Democrats' most recent reckless tax and spending spree suffers from a serious case of policy whiplash. The last thing businesses and families need right now are tax hikes and a rash of poorly vetted policies creating even more confusion and uncertainty in the economy."

Senator Joe Manchin, who had been a staunch opponent of Democrats' attempts to pass a major spending bill with a major focus on climate change, last month made headlines when he and Schumer announced they had devised a compromise bill.

In exchange for his backing for the climate spending package, Manchin clawed back some support for new oil and gas exploration, as well as incentives for the mining industry in light of plans for local EV battery production.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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