House Energy & Commerce Committee Democrats Release Discussion Draft for CLEAN Future Act for the U.S. to Reach Net-Zero Emissions by Mid-Century

Feb 3, 2020

by ASME.org

This past week, Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee Chairman Paul Tonko (D-NY), and Energy Subcommittee Chairman Bobby Rush (D-IL) released the discussion draft of the “Climate Leadership and Environmental Action for our Nation’s (CLEAN) Future Act.” The Act aims to get the United States to net-zero greenhouse gas pollutions no later than 2050. The bill directs Federal agencies to use existing authorities to lay out a path to net-zero emissions by 2050. The Act allows for a broad range of approaches so that individual agencies can best choose policies that fit their individual missions, taking a technology-neutral approach to reaching net-zero emissions by mid-century.

To achieve this ambitious national target, the Act would require the EPA to monitor national progress, and direct the National Academy of Sciences to evaluate how exactly the EPA should conduct those measurements. Additionally, the Act would establish a Clean Economy Federal Advisory Board that would report to Congress and make recommendations on how to achieve greenhouse-gas reduction goals.

The Act is divided into sections and includes a section on power, clean electricity generation, efficiency, transportation, industry, environmental justice, super pollutants, and economy-wide policies. Each section of the Act was informed by a specific Congressional hearing, or set of hearings, held throughout 2019. In the coming months, the House Energy and Commerce Committee plans to hold additional hearings and conduct outreach to stakeholders to inform the further development of the Act as it takes final shape.

In a memo, the Democratic authors say they look forward to working across the aisle to develop bipartisan solutions in hopes of achieving consensus on how to best achieve significant reductions, acknowledging that the current discussion draft does not yet include provisions related to workforce development, adaptation and climate resilience, agriculture, financial issues, international cooperation;, recycling and waste management, transmission siting, and trade-related issues, including preserving the global competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers.

A section-by-section summary of the Act can be found here: https://energycommerce.house.gov/sites/democrats.energycommerce.house.gov/files/documents/Section-by-Section%20of%20CLEAN%20Future%20Act%20.pdf.

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