Senator Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, 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, according to two people familiar with the matter.
Sinema is one of two centrist Democrats in the Senate whose votes are crucial to passing two bills that together would comprise President Biden’s legislative agenda: a $1 trillion infrastructure bill and a separate $3.5 trillion budget bill.
Last month, Ms. Sinema told The Arizona Republic, “We know that a changing climate costs Arizonans. And right now, we have the opportunity to pass smart policies to address it — looking forward to that.” In her 2018 run for the Senate, Ms. Sinema was endorsed by the League of Conservation Voters. And she has expressed an interest in using the spending bill to enact a tax or fee on carbon dioxide pollution, which experts say could be among the most effective ways to mitigate global warming.
But Ms. Sinema’s demand to cut spending on climate provisions in the budget bill could force Democrats to cut or shrink programs designed to help poor communities adapt to climate change as well as to help companies adjust as the economy transitions away from fossil fuels to clean energy. [Continue reading…]