Clean energy program will likely be cut from budget bill

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The Clean Electricity Performance Program, the cornerstone climate policy in Democrats’ massive social safety net package, will likely be dropped from the final budget deal after pushback from Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, three congressional sources told CNN.

© Win McNamee/Getty Images Sen. Joe Manchin at the Capitol on October 7.

“He is not there on the CEPP period. We’ve been trying,” one Democratic aide with knowledge of the negotiations told CNN. The aide told CNN that Democrats are trying to find ways to restructure the program to fit Manchin’s concerns while still reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“Whatever comes through will not be called the CEPP, but we’re strongly hoping and thinking there will be ways to meet what he wants,” the aide said, adding, “If there’s a deal to be struck in the next few days, I don’t think there’s anything resembling CEPP in there.”

The New York Times first reported the measure would likely be cut.

Democrats had designed the program to give utilities federal grants to increase their share of electricity from clean sources and penalize those who fail to up their clean electricity.

Manchin has been critical of the concept from the beginning, saying it would pay utilities to do something they’re already doing — transition away from fossil fuels.

This story is breaking and it will be updated.

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