Democrats Add $775 Million Oil and Gas Subsidy to Bill After Lobbyist Campaign

In a move that bucks climate advocates’ cries to end fossil fuel subsidies once and for all, House Democrats included a large handout to the oil and gas industry in the newly released draft text of the White House’s Dismally lowProposed reconciliation package of $1.75 trillion

The new proposal for a methane fee amends an earlier proposal by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island)This would have reduced greenhouse gas emissions, which are currently at about 86 times more potentIt is more effective at warming the atmosphere that carbon dioxide. The fossil fuel industry waged a rumor about its inclusion. desperate disinformation campaign against Whitehouse’s proposal.

Democrats’ new proposal is part of a $775 million grant, rebate and loan program that is meant to incentivize the oil and gas industry to reduce methane emissions — in other words, an oil and gas subsidy.

The Senate Joe Manchin (D, West Virginia) made the change. This week, reporters foundThe senator had opposed the methane proposal when it was first included. He had already succeeded in getting the most powerful segment The climate section of this billThe Clean Energy Payment Program has been hacked.

Manchin. a coal baron himself, has deep ties with fossil fuel lobbyists; earlier in the year, for example, an Exxon lobbyist. was caught on tape bragging, “Joe Manchin, I talk to his office every week.”

Since then, Manchin’s ties to Exxon and related lobbyists have remained — and perhaps deepened — as industry giants have drastically increased their lobbying efforts to water down the reconciliation bill. Manchin has taken over the presidency in recent months. more than $400,000A quarter of the $1.6million in campaign contributions he received between July & October came from the fossil fuel sector. In turn, the lawmaker has fought to gut the package on the corporations’ behalf.

It’s likely no coincidence, then, that the fossil fuel industry’s lobby against the methane fee aligns with Manchin’s opposition. In a letterSeptember sent to the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. In decry of the proposal, the American Petroleum Institute and over 100 other oil and gas interest groups threatened to emit more greenhouse gases if it was implemented.

In the letter, which is riddled with falsehoods, the groups baselessly claim that it is already in the companies’ best interest to reduce methane emissions, touting their supposed efforts to reduce emissions — despite the fact that methane emissionsFor years, they have been on the rise. The groups also emphasize the importance of using “clean natural gas” — a blatant oxymoron — as an important part of the U.S. energy mix.

In reality, oil is not the same as natural gas. a significant sourceMethane emissions and one of best ways to reduce them is to place caps on them, like the original methane fees.

“Incentivizing” the oil and gas industry with ever more subsidies will only lead to further emissions. The government alreadyProvides the industry with tens or billions of dollars of fossil-fuel subsidies per year, detracting potential climate policy, and funding further fossil oil production and usage.

President Joe Biden has previously seen an earlier version the infrastructure and reconciliation bills had proposedEnding fossil fuel subsidies through tax breaks and loopholes These subsidies were however Finally, it was added back inMuch to the chagrin and dismay of climate activists and progressive lawmakers,