U.S. House Energy & Commerce Democrats Introduce Climate Change Bill

U.S. House Democrats reintroduced an expanded version of the “Climate Leadership and Environmental Action for our Nation’s (CLEAN) Future Act,” to reach zero carbon emissions in the areas of power, buildings and efficiency, transportation, and industrial sectors.

Among the most significant plans, the proposal calls for:

— Electricity suppliers to provide an increasing supply of clean energy to consumers starting in 2023, rising to 80 percent clean energy by 2030 and 100 percent by 2035

— A mandate for zero-energy-ready buildings by 2030.

— Directives to states and federal agencies to develop and implement individual plans to meet the 2050 net-zero emissions target.

— New stringent vehicle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards alongside incentives to shift to low- and zero-carbon transportation fuels.

— A “Buy Clean” Program setting performance standards to reduce emissions in construction and manufacturing supported by federal funding alongside incentives for use of low-carbon materials; and

— A National Climate Bank to finance the energy transition through loans, grants and other mechanisms, particularly for frontline, rural, low-income and communities experiencing environmental injustice.

— A reauthorization of the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) through FY 2030 as well as the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) through FY 2030.

Many environmentalist groups who said last year’s bill did not go far enough since it did not call for a ban on fracking and all new fossil fuel infrastructure embraced the new version.

The legislation is likely to pass a Democratically controlled House, however, it will face hurdles in the 50-50 Senate where Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) has been skeptical of proposed clean electricity requirements.

Three Republican members of the Energy and Commerce Committee issued a joint statement on Tuesday opposing the legislation.

“Just like President Joe Biden’s executive orders, this rush to green with one-size-fits all regulations will force California’s failed policies on the rest of the country,” said Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Fred Upton (R-MI) and David McKinley (R-WV)).

“We can pursue practical policies to innovate a cleaner energy future if we work together,” they added. “We urge the Majority to join us in a bipartisan way to unleash innovation, strengthen our supply chains, and capture all the advantages of our abundant resources, which include coal, hydropower, nuclear technologies, and clean natural gas.”

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