President Trump signs bill creating $5.9 billion for climate research

UPDATE: President Donald Trump has signed the bill and released the following statement:

After years of delay, the United States today passed the largest expenditure on climate research and adaptation in U.S. history. To strengthen the role of the private sector in implementing a more sustainable future for our country, the Spending Bill included an amendment to provide $850 million for energy systems research and technology development. This follows on recent investments in projects like the Deep Seabed Carbon Sequestration Research Initiative and the Earth Science Research and Technology Demonstration Program. With the passage of this legislation, the Department of Energy is able to make continued investments in the demonstration of various approaches to the carbon sequestration of carbon dioxide below the sea floor.


BILLS * As always, House rules are complex, and if you don’t know them, please do go back and read them.

On the heels of President Donald Trump’s appointment of Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State, the House voted, 266-169, to set aside $5.9 billion over two years for the development of “clean energy systems and technologies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.” The money will go to research on fossil fuels, renewable energies and energy efficiency. Some lawmakers call it “the largest and most comprehensive climate-related spending measure in history,” according to CNN Money. It’ll also be one of the “largest on spending in any realm,” Rep. Ted Lieu, a Democrat, told the outlet.

The bill now heads to the Senate.

Photo Credit: RALPH BERGER/AFP/Getty Images

The language to establish the funding was included in a bill funding the Department of Energy. Here’s a look at how that happened:

“The Energy in Society Act of 2016 provides $100 million in funding, including $50 million for electric vehicle research, development and manufacturing. The Act also includes $75 million in funds specifically designated for projects focused on energy efficiency, including $25 million for the creation of a Department of Energy Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Innovation Hub, and $25 million for research and development funding for advanced energy systems, as well as funding for resilience activities to reduce energy threats from climate change.”

The $100 million figure was added in between June 27 and July 6, but Congress must pass the bill by this Friday.

Despite winning the GOP nomination in 2016, Trump has said he is skeptical about global warming and has said the United States should pull out of the Paris Agreement that outlines the terms of climate change. Environmental leaders like Leonardo DiCaprio and former Vice President Al Gore have suggested that remains a potential threat if the president doesn’t rethink his position. During his campaign, Trump said he would review the agreement.

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