On January 14, 2021, Mike Bloomquist was quoted in S&P Global Market Intelligence on the use of a budget reconciliation measure to address key Democratic priorities in Congress, including climate change and boosting support for clean energy. A reconciliation bill — which instructs certain committees to change spending, revenues, or deficits by specific amounts — requires only a simple majority in the Senate rather than the 60 votes typically needed to end debate on legislation in the upper chamber.
According to the article, the 117th Congress is unlikely to advance more progressive climate measures, such as a carbon tax, despite opportunities presented through reconciliation. But a reconciliation bill could contain tax credits and other incentives for electric vehicles and renewable energy technologies, funding streams to help modernize the grid, and policies aimed at improving energy efficiency.
Bloomquist noted that the 51-vote threshold is still a "major concern," but expects Congress will still be able to advance significant climate and energy legislation.
"Republicans losing majority-control of the Senate in the world of energy and environment just shifted the tectonic plates of what Congress can do in this area," Bloomquist said. "The administration was always going to be able to do a fair amount of stuff unilaterally ... now you'll have Congress able to pass significant legislation in the energy and environmental field to address climate change that in a divided government was unlikely to happen."
Click here to access the article.