Inside the two-day scramble to add drought funding to the climate law

Good morning and welcome to The Climate 202! Congrats on making it to Friday after an extremely busy week for climate policy, whether you attended the U.N. General Assembly

and Climate Week in New York City, the Clean Energy Ministerial in Pittsburgh, or the vote on a climate treaty on Capitol Hill. But first: Inside the two-day scramble to add

drought funding to the Inflation Reduction Act A week after Sen. Joe Manchin III (D-W.Va.) and Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced that they had

reached a surprise deal on a landmark climate, health and tax policy law, the Colorado River was in a climate-change-fueled crisis — one deepening by the day. It was Aug.

3, and the water levels of two key reservoirs fed by the Colorado River — Lake Mead and Lake Powell — had declined dramatically amid the worst drought to parch the region in the

past 1,200 years. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), one of two crucial Democratic votes in the 50-50 Senate, promptly called a Schumer staffer and issued an ultimatum: She

would not support the landmark legislation unless roughly $5 billion was added to address the worsening drought across the West. “I was pretty shocked when I read about

the elements of the Inflation Reduction Act and saw that for a very, very significant piece of climate legislation, there was nothing included for drought,” Sinema said in a rare

interview, which her office granted on the condition that it would only focus on the drought funding.