It’s no mystery that the Republican-led Congress has plotted to block Obama’s big plans for climate change. But as the year ends, Obama’s climate legacy is still in good standing.
The GOP-led Congress agreed to a fiscal deal that notably doesn’t include riders to block his climate initiatives. The State Department should be able to distribute the first $500 million installment to the international Green Climate Fund for developing nations; Obama has pledged $3 billion in aid over the next few years. The clean energy industry even scored a small win in the omnibus package, seeing tax credits for solar and wind renewed for five years.
While Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has warned that he’d succeed in his anti-climate policy push, I wrote in September that he wasn’t a credible threat to disrupting an international deal. His best shot to hamper the Paris agreement was by holding up the U.S.’s contribution to the Green Climate Fund. Republicans didn’t even get that right, or at least GOP leaders realized it wasn’t worth the risk of another shutdown.
Democrats did have to make a few trades to make this happen, according to National Journal. The omnibus also lifts the nation’s 40-year-old ban on exporting crude oil and keeps EPA funding at current levels—its lowest level since 2008.