WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Environmentalists are betting on Democrats getting climate change policy across the finish line before the midterms.
President Joe Biden is vowing to make the effort a top priority after Senators failed last month to get his larger Build Back Better plan passed.
Collin O’Mara, the president of the National Wildlife Federation, says he wants Congress to pass key environmental protections before Biden’s first State of the Union address this March.
“We have to act now,” O’Mara said. “We can’t afford inaction. This isn’t theoretical, we’re not talking polar bears and puffins anymore, we’re talking about fires and floods and hurricanes and drought.”
He says he has renewed faith that transformative energy polices can make it to the president’s desk.
Earlier this month, previous Democratic hold-out Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said making a deal on climate change would be “much easier than anything else.”
Rep. Sean Casten, D-Ill., says he remains skeptical Manchin will back aggressive climate proposals.
“I’m deeply concerned,” Casten said. “Fool me once shame on you, fool me 15 times shame on me. … We thought we had a deal.”
The president last week said he expects Congress to break up his package in order to get key issues like climate policy passed. But the next day, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., insisted the Build Back Better plan should remain largely intact.
Pelosi insists strong climate policy remains a top priority, as Democrats negotiate a path forward.