I didn’t get to it yesterday, but the execrable NYTimes reported that the senator from The Terrible Sand Kingdom of Arizonastan wants to cut $100B Ameros of climate change legislation:
“[Sen. Kyrsten Sinema] who began her political career with the Green Party and who has voiced alarm over the warming planet, wants to cut at least $100 billion from climate programs in major legislation pending on Capitol Hill.
“The people familiar with her request, who asked to speak anonymously because they were not authorized to speak on the record, said that she had asked for a cut to the climate program as part of a larger effort by Democrats to hunt for ways to lower the price tag of the broader spending legislation.”
And this of course brings us to the carefully worded denial, which oddly focuses on the unnamed sources:
Demand is not the same thing as want. Perhaps the senator has not formally demanded anything… yet.
So what programs might Sinema be, uh, not yet be demanding be cut?
Party leaders have previously promised to safeguard two significant climate change programs costing $450 billion in total: the Clean Electricity Program, which incentivizes electric utilities to use wind, solar, and nuclear power, and a general climate package of tax incentives meant to encourage the use of clean energy.
But there are several other climate-focused programs that could theoretically be cut in order to shrink the bill, including multiple provisions aimed at helping poor people adapt to the effects of climate change, as well as a $30 billion “Green Bank,” that would fund construction of community solar panels and electric vehicle charging stations.
Also on the table is $30 billion to create a “Civilian Climate Corps,” encouraging young adults of color to pursue climate work, as well as a $10 billion program to incentivize rural electric cooperatives to switch from coal to wind and solar.
On climate-change mitigation funding in TTSKoA:
Climate scientists told The Times that such cuts could have a particularly harmful impact on Sinema’s own constituents.
“Annual average temperatures in Arizona have already increased a couple of degrees due to climate change, which may not sound like much, but it has increased heat waves and droughts, it has lowered the snowpack which is essential to our water supply, and which flows in streams that are important to the health of wildlife, which is important to our ranchers and farmers,” Gregg Garfin, a University of Arizona climatologist told the outlet.
“We need the work force,” he added. “We need the funding. Many communities in Arizona lack the budget or expertise to do this. It requires real money. And it’s super important for Arizona.”
Meanwhile, Sinema is not herself talking to anyone… except her donors.