"A climate plan that fails to directly confront the oil and gas industry cannot possibly be considered meaningful."
"On a day when Congress is finally holding the oil and gas industry accountable for its climate disinformation campaigns, President Biden has announced a spending plan that fails to do the same," said Mitch Jones, policy director of the group. "Given the prime opportunity to cancel billions of dollars in domestic subsidies for oil and gas polluters, the president and congressional leadership have rolled over. A climate plan that fails to directly confront the oil and gas industry cannot possibly be considered meaningful."
"We cannot rely on credits, grants, and loans to incentivize our way out of the worsening climate crisis," Jones added, referring to plans to expand grants and loans to boost clean energy in rural areas and the agricultural sector, manufacturing credits, and other initiatives.
Those financial incentives will replace plans for the Clean Electricity Performance Program (CEPP), which would have rewarded utilities for using renewable energy sources and forced big polluters to pay for every ton of carbon they emitted.
Greenpeace noted that the $555 billion in climate spending will leave Biden falling short of "his own climate targets."
The framework was released just days before the president is set to attend the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 26) in Glasgow, and left climate advocates alarmed over the message the package sends to the international community as countries prepare to make their own commitments to tackle the planetary emergency.
"This spending package is not enough to prove that the U.S. is a global leader in a world in a climate crisis," said Redman.
Prakash called the $555 billion proposed investment in climate action "promising" but said the elimination of numerous provisions to help lower- and middle-class families was "appalling and frankly cruel," warning, "progressives are the ones who have fought like hell for Biden's full agenda, and their votes cannot be taken for granted."
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) told Politico that House progressives "need to have certainty, either through legislative text, through uniform agreement, that we can trust" that the pared-down reconciliation package will have the support of all 50 Democrats in the Senate before the narrower Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework (BIF) is passed.
"We stand with Sen. Sanders and House Progressives on needing to see the legislative text, ensuring Sen. Manchin and Sinema vote for the reconciliation package, and passing reconciliation in the House before the House brings the BIF to a vote," said Prakash.
Redman called the framework "a clarion call to the climate movement and all who care about their kids' futures to double down and demand climate action at the scale, speed, and ambition necessary," expressing hope that fossil fuel subsidies could still be eliminated from the final version of the spending package.
"We will continue to push for aggressive climate policies and to eliminate all fossil fuel subsidies until the final bill is signed," said Redman.
This content originally appeared on Common Dreams - Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community and was authored by Julia Conley.