Industry urge to pass the bill brought Republican support despite Trump opposed to climate policy. At least 16 Republicans have signed up to sponsor the legislation, which was co-authored by Senator Thomas Carper of Delaware, senior Democrat on the Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works, and Senator John Kennedy, Republican of Louisiana. There are hundreds of chemical manufacturing facilities in Mr. Kennedy’s state. He formulated the bill as a job creator for these companies.
“American jobs are at stake and we can protect them by keeping the US competitive in global industry,” he said. “To create thousands of jobs, save billions of dollars and protect the environment, we need to invest in alternatives to HFCs.”
Environmental groups celebrated the support of Republicans like Mr. Kennedy. “It shows what we saw in those elections – voters want action against the climate, and even some Republicans want action against the climate, and the Republicans leading this HFC deal are beginning to understand that,” said Matthew Davis, Legislative Director of the Conservation Voters’ League.
In addition to the HFC bill, the larger package also included a non-partisan renewable energy bill, jointly sponsored by Senator Lisa Murkowski, Republican of Alaska, and Joe Manchin, Democrat of West Virginia, chairman and senior member of the Senate Energy Committee.
The bill would not budget for new government spending, but would approve $ 35 billion in existing government funding for clean energy programs over the next five years, including $ 1 billion for energy storage technology used as batteries for wind and solar energy could serve $ 1.5 billion for demonstration projects for new solar technology, $ 2.1 billion for advanced nuclear technology and $ 450 million for technology to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
The bill would also direct federal agencies to update the government programs that oversee renewable energy spending.
“Some of these will be the first updates to these programs since the iPhone was first used,” said Josh Freed, an energy policy analyst at Third Way, a center-left research organization. “It’s critical because energy systems looked very different 10 years ago. There were almost no electric vehicles on the road, very small solar panels on roofs, and there was no Tesla. “