Bill Gates, Microsoft’s founder, lobbied Sen. Joe Manchin for months to move liberal climate and energy laws. This legislation became known as the Inflation Reduction Act.
According to Bloomberg, after the first attempt to broker a deal between Senator Manchin and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer failed, Gates sat with Manchin to negotiate the senator’s reluctance to back the president’s climate change policy.
Bill Gates personally lobbied Sen. Joe Manchin in a stealth campaign for https://t.co/4E1Mi71gzw
— Ben Owen 🇺🇸🦅 (@hrkbenowen) August 17, 2022
Gates’s lobbying efforts, along with those of environmental and renewable energy advocates, led to a compromise between the two senators and the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act earlier in the month.
Efforts From Gates
It’s one of the bright spots in his climate advocacy, Gates informed Bloomberg.
“As an environmentalist, there are two aspects of climate change research that really interest me. One is when policy is executed effectively and this is the most significant instance of its kind,” he said.
Following Manchin’s resistance to large-scale spending initiatives endorsed by President Biden, the announcement of Schumer and Manchin’s arrangement at the end of July came as a surprise to many.
Even though Manchin’s opposition in the Senate’s 50-50 split was enough to defeat certain bills last year, Gates and Manchin continued to talk about whether or not climate legislation was feasible on other occasions in 2022.
Bill Gates had been wooing Joe Manchin to sign: “My dialogue with Joe has been going on for quite a while,” Gates said. “Almost everyone on the energy committee”— with Manchin as senior Democrat — “came over and spent a few hours with me over dinner.” https://t.co/7frCrRs1E8
— Miranda Devine (@mirandadevine) August 17, 2022
For three years, Gates tried to establish a rapport with Manchin because of Manchin’s role on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
In January, Gates had dinner with Manchin and his wife, where the topic of West Virginians’ reliance on coal mining jobs was apparently broached.
Here, Gates proposed that employment lost to automation may be replaced by those created by modest nuclear power plants, but it wasn’t enough.
Change of Heart?
On July 7, however, they both jetted off to Idaho for the Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference, a gathering of influential business and media figures. At this time, Manchin was open to rethinking.
Both Schumer and Gates had been talking to Manchin. After Schumer said he had “shown tremendous patience,” Gates urged him to be patient for a while more.
Gates recalls telling Schumer, “You’re correct. All that’s required is infinite patience plus one.”
On July 27, Schumer and Manchin revealed their agreement, which included the massive investments that would later be approved by Congress.
A group of lobbyists and activists led by Gates persuaded Manchin that the climate, tax, and healthcare plan that ultimately passed would be good for the economy.
Media from all over have reached out to Manchin’s office for comment, but so far, they have heard nothing back.
On Tuesday, Biden made the Inflation Reduction Act law. Financing for “environmental justice” is included, as are tax breaks for renewable energy and electric vehicles, penalties for polluting industries, and stricter regulations on methane emissions.
By 2030, carbon emissions in the United States will be cut by 40%, compared to 2005 levels, thanks to this plan.