How Might Spending Bill Affect U.S. Energy Consumption?
City Lab writes that “after an acrimonious year, Democrats and Republicans in the U.S. Congress just passed a $1.1 trillion spending bill with strong bipartisan support. That’s because, in the spirit of compromise (or maybe holiday gift-giving), it’s got a little something for everyone. When it comes to energy policy, for instance, Republicans got their wish to end a ban on U.S. crude oil exports, and Democrats in exchange secured extended tax credits for solar and wind energy.”
“So was that a good deal for the environment, especially on the heels of the landmark agreement in Paris to curb global carbon emissions?”
The piece concludes: “The spending deal, then, eliminates a policy that was never meant as an environmental regulation, in exchange for concrete policies to expand zero-carbon energy for the U.S. It’s too early to know exactly what a world with crude exports from the U.S. will look like, but ensuring that U.S. oil got refined in the U.S. hardly defended the climate from fossil fuels. If renewables producers use their incentives to the fullest, this bill could prove a net positive for a cleaner energy future.”