Democrats hopeful for new climate legislation

NDSU College Democrats President speaks on Biden’s ‘Build Back Better’ stalling causes Democrats to seek new plans for climate relief

President Joe Biden’s ‘Build Back Better’ initiative has been stalled after Democrat swing Joe Manchin opposed it. A large agenda Biden pushed during his presidential campaign was action in climate change policy, which has so far seemed out of reach for the Democratic party with push back from more conservative members of congress.

Many Democrats in congress are now pushing a separate climate bill that may be able to gain swing vote supporters more easily.

“I’ve been talking to a number of my colleagues on the Hill,” Biden told reporters in a recent news conference. “I think it’s clear that we would be able to get support for the $500 billion plus for energy and the environment.”

The NY times recently asked Republican Senate members if they would support a separate climate bill in which, according to the NY Times, they said no.

Although Biden and more progressive democrats feel confident in their ability to pass some form of legislation they promised, both parties have expressed frustrations with the packages and many changes made.

“There is very little difference in climate policy between Democrats and Republicans and the climate change fight hardly changes no matter who is in charge of the government. Fossil fuel subsidies keep coming out of our pockets, oil drilling projects rise every year independent of the president, and the goalpost for what is reasonable climate policy is moved based on corporations’ wants instead of what science is telling us,” Kaden Felch, College Democrats President and Environmental Engineering major said. “Everyone needs to recognize that the climate crisis is not the people that drive Hummers or that only buy fast fashion’s fault. This kind of useless bickering is exactly what lobbyists from these corporations are trying to promote as this will keep the majority of people from focusing on who is actually causing the problem.”

Felch also expressed his belief in the importance of policy targeted at large corporations rather than individuals blaming themselves for their own contribution to pollution.

“What I could say to those that are concerned about the push to limit emissions is that you should not feel guilty about driving a car or eating too much meat. The fact is the sheer volume of pollution that comes from huge companies and the fossil fuel industry will not be successfully combated by you riding your bike to work two days a week. Fossil fuel lobbyists and those against climate change action have pushed the messaging that changing how and what you consume can solve the climate crisis when in reality it is not enough with the current policies in place,” said Felch. “Instead, I urge them to focus their energy on challenging their representative’s policy views and not voting for people who garner huge donations from the major polluting industries. The reason the cost of green energy is so high is because the government is too busy handing out huge subsidies to the fossil fuel industry.”

Climate legislation has historically taken a back seat in many leaders’ agendas due to more pressing legislative efforts. Currently, many people believe this is happening as voting rights legislation is being pushed into the forefront.

Many climate activists have been unhappy with what they deem as little success from the current administration regarding their promises on environmental legislation.

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