US Senate passes Democrats’ sweeping health care and climate bill

The Inflation Reduction Act is the  largest climate investment in US  history

The Senate on Sunday afternoon passed Democrats’ $750 billion health care, tax and climate bill, in a significant victory for President Joe Biden and his party. The final, party-line vote was 51-50, with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking the tie. The package is the product of painstaking negotiations, and its final passage would give Democrats a chance to achieve major policy objectives ahead of the upcoming midterm elections.

The Democrat-controlled House, which is expected to take up the legislation on Friday, August 12, must approve the bill before Biden can sign it into law. The sweeping bill — named the Inflation Reduction Act — would represent the largest climate investment in US history and make major changes to health policy by giving Medicare the power for the first time to negotiate the prices of certain prescription drugs and extending expiring health care subsidies for three years. The legislation would reduce the deficit, be paid for through new taxes — including a 15% minimum tax on large corporations and a 1% tax on stock buybacks — and boost the Internal Revenue Service’s ability to collect.
It would raise over $700 billion in government revenue over 10 years and spend over $430 billion to reduce carbon emissions and extend subsidies for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act and use the rest of the new revenue to reduce the deficit.

https://edition.cnn.com/

Total climate meltdown cannot be stopped

‘We have passed the point of no return’, says climate expert Bill McGuire

The publication of Bill McGuire’s latest book, Hothouse Earth, could not be more timely. Appearing in the shops this week, it will be perused by sweltering customers who have just endured record high temperatures across the UK and now face the prospect of weeks of drought to add to their discomfort.

And this is just the beginning, insists McGuire, who is emeritus professor of geophysical and climate hazards at University College London. As he makes clear in his uncompromising depiction of the coming climatic catastrophe, we have – for far too long – ignored explicit warnings that rising carbon emissions are dangerously heating the Earth. Now we are going to pay the price for our complacency in the form of storms, floods, droughts and heatwaves that will easily surpass current extremes.

The crucial point, he argues, is that there is now no chance of us avoiding a perilous, all-pervasive climate breakdown. We have passed the point of no return and can expect a future in which lethal heatwaves and temperatures in excess of 50C (120F) are common in the tropics; where summers at temperate latitudes will invariably be baking hot, and where our oceans are destined to become warm and acidic. “A child born in 2020 will face a far more hostile world that its grandparents did,” McGuire insists.

https://www.theguardian.com

UK: Nuclear Reactors “At The Heart” Of Decarbonization Strategy

 “Net zero” strategy

The United Kingdom could be ready to officially put nuclear power back on the map That’s because UK ministers are planning on putting nuclear power “at the heart of Britain’s strategy to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050,” a new report from the Financial Times reveals.

In what is one of the boldest statements about the future of nuclear in a major geographic area, government documents will lay out a “net zero” strategy for the UK as well as a cost assessment of implementing the strategy to meet the 2050 goal. Then, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to give the documents a “go ahead”.

https://oilprice.com/