Republicans hoping to strike a deal with Democrats on an infrastructure bill next year should be prepared to pony up on climate change, according to the Senate’s top Democrat.
In a letter to President Donald Trump, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Democrats want priorities such as making permanent tax credits for renewable energy production and electric vehicles, more spending on energy storage and transmission, and funding to help communities harden themselves against extreme weather.
“Any infrastructure package considered in 2019 must include policies and funding to transition to a clean energy economy and mitigate the risks that the United States is already facing due to climate change,” Schumer of New York wrote in a letter released Friday.
A spending bill for roads, bridges, airports, transit, wastewater, and other public works is considered to be a prime area for compromise next year, and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, who is in line to get the speaker’s gavel, has already had conversations with Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky on the possibility.
Schumer in his letter to the president cited a report released by the administration last month that warned about devastating economic costs from climate change and a recent spate of wildfires and hurricanes.
“Climate change is real, caused by humans, and its impacts are already being felt in communities across the country,” he wrote.