Big Business is trying to block the passage of Democrats’ $3.5 trillion climate and social spending legislation and environmentalists are pissed, Politico reports. “Was it all bullshit?” Lori Lodes, executive director of Climate Power, rhetorically asked of previous statements by corporations that claim to support climate action but remain members of trade groups lobbying to tank the package that would be passed through the Senate using the procedure known as budget reconciliation. “There’s one train,” she added, “and you’re either getting on it or we will have a really long, long memory.”
Groups like the Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable are deploying the full weight of their considerable lobbying apparatuses against the bill, which also includes investments in health care, child care, and racial equity in addition to climate change. Some companies have tried to stake a middle ground, saying they support climate action, while remaining part of groups lobbying to tank the biggest opportunity to meaningfully address the climate crisis in at least a decade. “That’s a load of crap and I think they know it,” Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) retorted. Those companies have been warned, privately, they risk losing their place in business climate coalitions ahead of COP26 in November if they fail to formally distance themselves from the lobbying groups working to undermine climate action.
Environmental groups have also refused to entertain the idea of cutting loose other social provisions of the bill to appease conservative Democrats. “We’re pushing for the full Build Back Better package,” Tiernan Sittenfeld, senior vice president of the League of Conservation Voters, told Politico. “We’re not negotiating with ourselves.” (Politico)