Mar 2, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Senate debate on bipartisan climate package could open new fault lines

Joe Manchin and Lisa Murkowski

Sens. Joe Manchin and Lisa Murkowski. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images

The Senate's debate over energy legislation this week is slated to bring fresh collisions over climate change overall and electric vehicles policy specifically.

Catch up fast: The Senate will consider a grab bag of measures introduced as a catch-all package by Alaska Republican Lisa Murkowski and West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin, who head the Senate's energy panel.

The intrigue: Sen. Chuck Schumer, the chamber's top Democrat, is signaling that Democrats will use the debate to highlight differences over climate policy.

  • "Senate Republicans who claim to want to do something about climate change face a big test," he said in a statement.

What's next: A Democratic aide said they would push amendments, including:

  • The bipartisan energy efficiency package that Sens. Rob Portman and Jeanne Shaheen have been pushing for years.
  • Bolstering tax credits for renewables and electric vehicles.

Quick take: Seeing where the GOP votes line up on efforts to expand electric vehicle tax credits should be interesting because the White House explicitly opposes them.

Go deeper: There's hope that Congress may pass energy legislation in 2020

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