“He is not there during the CEPP period. We have tried,” a Democratic aide familiar with the negotiations told CNN. The aide told CNN Democrats were trying to find ways to restructure the program to address Manchin’s concerns while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
“Not everything that happens will be called CEPP, but we hope and believe there will be ways to meet whatever it wants,” the assistant said, adding: “If there is a deal to be made in the next few days, I don’t think there’s anything CEPP-like in there. “
Democrats designed the program to give utilities federal subsidies to increase their share of electricity from clean sources and penalize those who fail to increase their clean electricity.
There have been discussions about lowering the program’s emissions standard to further allow coal and natural gas power plants with carbon capture technology, another Democratic aide told CNN, but no doubt that would be enough to get Manchin to support the program.
Even though Manchin has been a long-time proponent of carbon capture, he has recently questioned its potential. “I would love to have carbon capture, but we don’t have the technology because we haven’t really gotten to that point. And it’s so expensive that it makes it almost impossible,” Manchin told the journalists in September.
Manchin spokesman Sam Runyon told CNN on Friday that the senator “has made clear his concerns about the use of taxpayer dollars to pay private companies to do things they already do. He continues to support efforts to fight climate change while protecting US energy independence and ensuring our energy reliability. ”
Progressive Caucus Chair Pramila Jayapal denied on Saturday that Manchin cracked down on climate provisions in Biden’s larger economic bill, saying “no decision has been made, negotiations are continuing.”
“We understand that we have to involve fifty senators and that Senator Manchin obviously has a very big role to play on this subject. It is in his committee. And so we continue to push for the strongest possible climate protections which will reduce carbon emissions, ”the Washington State Democrat said on MSNBC. “We are open to this negotiation as long as we have strong climate protections that reduce carbon emissions. That is the discussion that is underway at the moment.”
The clean energy program along with the clean energy tax credits would have accounted for the vast majority of Biden’s goal for the United States to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 50 to 52 percent per compared to 2005 levels by 2030. An analysis by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer found nearly 42% of Biden’s decarbonization target could be achieved through the two programs combined.
The clean energy tax credits in the bill are on a more solid footing and will most likely end up in the final bill, an aide told CNN, and they could represent the majority of the country’s climate package. President Joe Biden, as well as tax credits for electric vehicles.
The Clean Electricity Program defines qualifying clean electricity as not creating more than 0.10 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide per megawatt hour. Generating electricity from coal, on the other hand, releases about 1 tonne of carbon dioxide per megawatt hour, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Under this provision, clean energy sources could include nuclear, hydropower, solar and wind power, or sources that capture fossil fuel emissions before they escape into the atmosphere. .
Manchin has criticized the clean energy program since its writing, saying he would pay utilities to do something they already do – move away from fossil fuels.
“We are in the midst of an energy crisis,” Manchin told his colleagues, according to a source familiar with the matter.
This story was updated with additional details on Saturday.
CNN’s Manu Raju and Sarah Fortinsky contributed to this report.