In United States, Joe Biden’s climate plan arouses hopes and reluctance

Massive investment in green energies is praised, but it is accompanied by a revival of fossil fuels which disappoints environmentalists.


Historical advances, but also a “poisoned pill”, according to the expression of Brett Hartl, the director of government affairs at the Center for Biological Diversity. On the general scope of the text adopted on Sunday August 7, unanimously of the Democratic senators, and without the slightest republican voice, environmentalists are enthusiastic. Inflation Reduction Act includes the most ambitious program ever adopted in the United States on the climate, they welcome.

The text provides investments of $ 369 billion (more than 361 billion euros) for the energy transition, the development of new energies, manufacturing – in North America, which does not delight all industry Automobile – electric vehicles, solar panels and batteries (batteries), the deployment of load stations, tax credits for the purchase of electric cars. It should bring the United States within reach of the objective set by President Joe Biden at the Glasgow top in November 2021: a reduction of more than 50 % of greenhouse gas emissions before 2030 compared to the levels of 2005.

The great satisfaction of associations, the plan also includes a social component for the most vulnerable communities, first victims of toxic emanations – 7 million children suffer from asthma. Sixty billion dollars will be devoted to environmental justice programs. In addition, 20 billion will be used to develop less polluting practices in agriculture and 1.5 billion will be awarded by the environmental protection agency to methane reduction initiatives.

of millions of usable hectares

But to obtain the agreement of centrist Joe Manchin on the environmental aspect of the great anti-inflation plan, the Democrats had to include a measure which bristles most of the environmentalists: the development of these fossil fuels whose elimination they claim . The concessions obtained by the Democratic senator, who had, by itself, made the energy component of the massif Build Back Better by Joe Biden, ended in the eyes of progressives. The text offers tax credits for carbon capture technologies, according to them, to allow the coal or cement industry to collect millions of dollars in subsidies, while they continue to release Toxic dust and greenhouse gases.

Above all, new energies will be linked to fossils in the issuance of permits to exploit on federal land. No wind turbines or solar panels without the interior department first opening gas or petroleum operations. In land, more than 800,000 hectares will be auctioned each year. Offshore, including in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska: more than 24 million hectares. This while Joe Biden had promised to suspend any new permit on federal lands.

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/Media reports.