Bill Gates promotes climate measures in Democrats’ economic package

Microsoft founder Bill Gates touted climate measures included in a major reconciliation package Democrats are seeking to pass, saying on Friday that the US “can’t afford to miss” the opportunity to tackle climate change and bolster American energy security.

He wrote in an op-ed for The New York Times that the sweeping climate, tax reform and health package, referred to as the Inflation Reduction Act, “may be the single most important piece of climate legislation in American history. It represents our best chance to build an energy future that is cleaner, cheaper and more secure.”

He referred to some of the incentives included in the bill, such as strengthened tax credits to businesses making solar panels and wind turbines, among other electricity sources that would be emissions-free, over the next decade.

According to the Times, the legislation would offer such companies tax credits over 10 years, compared with tax credits previously provided by Congress that lasted just one or two years.

These incentives would also provide the private sector with the confidence to invest for the long term. This legislation would begin to transform the parts of our economy that are hardest to decarbonize, like manufacturing, which we must do to reach net-zero emissions,” Gates wrote.

“As many Americans face summer blackouts, power shortages and high electricity bills, these measures would help build a modern, reliable power grid so all can have access to affordable, abundant and clean energy,” he added.

Last week, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (DN.Y.) and centrist Sen. Joe Manchin (DW.Va.) announced they had reached a deal on a tax reform, climate and health package, considered a major feat after Democrats were unable to overcome an impasse on passing a social spending bill last year.

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), a critical vote on the legislation, which will require the backing of all 50 Senate Democrats to pass through budget reconciliation without GOP support, signaled she approved the package on Thursday after reaching a separate deal with Schumer.

Gates credited both Schumer and Manchin for reaching a deal on the package while also warning that “although it appears the legislation will pass, success is not guaranteed, so it’s critical to keep pushing for it.”

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