Politico: “Progressives are open to short-term benefits for the oil and gas industry if it will yield a bill that delivers big for clean energy and climate action.”
Politico: BITTER OIL PILL: Progressive lawmakers who last year rallied around “keep it in the ground” have become more amenable this year to oil drilling. With retail gasoline prices stressing voters and the Biden administration pushing for more domestic fossil production to counter the loss of Russian supplies, progressives are open to compromising with Senate Energy Chair Joe Manchin to allow some short-term measures for oil and gas drillers in whatever climate and energy package they can work out.
It’s both a function of legislative realpolitik following last December’s collapse of BBB at Manchin’s hands and a shift in electoral politics, with the Russian war putting a greater spotlight on near-term energy security.
“If [Manchin] wants some increase for short-term production for the broader package of $500 billion on renewables, I am open to that,” Rep. Ro Khanna of California, a deputy whip in the Congressional Progressive Caucus, told POLITICO’s Josh Siegel. “It’s not ideal for the climate, but I am not comfortable with Americans paying 6, 7 bucks for gas.”
Democrats look likely to lose control of the House in the November elections, raising the stakes for Democrats to deliver on climate change while they have a chance.
But that doesn’t mean Democrats’ left flank have suddenly gone gaga for oil and gas. Several prominent progressives are pushing measures to tax oil majors for their surging profits amid the dramatic increase in crude prices. Others are also looking to offer payouts to consumers to pay for gasoline — a policy House Speaker Nancy Pelosi backs.
“It is unfortunate we have to do that, but the time demands action and the American people are certainly deserving of action,” Rep. Don McEachin, a backer of the payment plan, told Josh. Read more from Josh here.