‘Easter Eggs’ in Climate Bill Delight Oil and Gas Industry

climate bill

The oil and gas industry doesn’t hate the climate bill.

The industry as a whole isn’t yet embracing the $700 billion-plus reconciliation deal, which would penalize some forms of fossil fuel pollution while making one of the largest investments in clean energy in U.S. history. But the legislation also contains what some called “Easter eggs” that would benefit oil and gas companies, including access to new swaths of federal waters in Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico.

“There are some things in there that are helpful to our business,” Rich Walsh, senior vice president and general counsel at Valero, one of the country’s largest fuel refiners, said during an earnings call Thursday with investors.

Frank Maisano, a partner at the law firm Bracewell, said the compromise deal offers wins for both the fossil fuel and green energy industries.

“There are a lot of pieces in there that are going to be valuable to different sectors,” said Maisano, whose firm works with companies in both fields.

Maisano added that Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), who reached the deal with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, “has been clear on where he stands — to have some mix of benefits and not lean too heavily on renewables only. That’s what he’s gotten here.”

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