An energy organization founded by Bill Gates and backed by billionaires such as George Soros and Jeff Bezos increased its lobbying efforts ahead of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Joe Manchin’s climate legislation announcement last week.
Breakthrough Energy LLC, closely associated with Bill Gates’ corporate umbrella company, funded $1.43 million into lobbying since May 2021, as revealed in the organization’s filings to the Senate Secretary, Fox News reported.
Breakthrough Energy’s second quarter in 2022 saw the company support its influence campaign of U.S. politicians with $390,000, which was $100,000 more than any previous quarter since the lobbying activity began last year.
The increase in funds came at a time when the bill was reportedly stalled in Congress last quarter, according to Fox News.
The legislation, called the Inflation Reduction Act, was purportedly designed to ease America’s inflation crisis, help invest in domestic energy alternatives and drastically reduce carbon emissions. In other words, the bill is a smaller version of President Biden’s Build Back Better Act.
The Manchin-Schumer deal, if passed, will cost about $433 billion in total investments and increase tax revenue by $739 billion, according to its summary. Additionally, large corporations will be required to pay 15 percent in taxes to accomplish this.
The groups worried that Manchin, who had previously criticized Biden’s multi-trillion dollar act, would oppose the new bill.
In addition to lobbying the Democratic senator, Form Energy, which Breakthrough Energy supports, was looking at building a manufacturing hub in his home state of West Virginia.
After Manchin announced his support of the Inflation Reduction Act, Breakthrough Energy was thrilled to hear the news.
“I’ve been waiting my entire career for a piece of legislation like this. The bill is certainly the biggest piece of climate legislation to come out of Congress ever,” Aliya Haq, vice president of U.S. policy and advocacy for the corporation, said.
“We’ve been basically waiting for this shot for 12 years. I feel cautious hope that we might actually have a shot,” she said.
Breakthrough Energy, established in 2015, seeks to tackle climate change by reducing carbon emissions as close to zero percent as possible by 2050, its website reads.
The bill intends to jump-start that process with 40 percent fewer emission by 2030.
Besides Gates, Soros and Bezos, dozens of billionaries have supported Breakthrough Energy over the past seven years. Notable names include Reid Hoffman, Michael Bloomberg, Mark Zuckerberg, Tom Steyer and Richard Branson, among others.
Senate Democrats hope to pass the Inflation Reduction Act with a simple majority of 51 votes. The bill’s support and opposition are currently neck and neck.
Sen. Kyrsten Sinema has not yet announced support for the legislation. If she votes yes, then the expected 50-50 tie would be broken by Vice President Kamala Harris.
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