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Congressman Scott Peters

Representing the 52nd District of California

Rep. Peters Urges Carbon Pricing in President’s Infrastructure Plan in Remarks to New DOE Secretary

May 19, 2021
Press Release
Peters also asked if American Jobs Plan would meet urgent climate goals at House hearing today

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This morning, Rep. Scott Peters (CA-52) questioned the newly-appointed Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm during a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing about the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) clean energy goals as outlined in President Biden’s American Jobs Plan. During his remarks, Rep. Peters emphasized how the employment of a carbon price would complement the plan, including its proposed Clean Energy Standard.

“Today, I asked Secretary Granholm about the Administration’s Clean Energy Standard and if it, and the rest of the American Jobs Plan, would be sufficient to rapidly reduce dangerous climate change without putting a price on carbon,” said Rep. Peters. “Carbon pricing is a climate solution that would work hand in hand with policies in the American Jobs Plan to boost our country’s ability to reach 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2035. A price on carbon would cut costs of decarbonization, help ensure our global competitiveness, and is essential to combat the climate crisis. Without it, it is hard to imagine how the U.S. will drive the rapid deployment of new lower-cost and lower-carbon technologies across all sectors.”

In her first appearance in front of the committee of jurisdiction, Sec. Granholm responded to Rep. Peters by confirming that carbon pricing is one of many tools to address carbon emissions. She noted that the American Jobs Plan is a long-term strategy that builds the economy of the future, incentivizing the development and deployment of technology to reach net-zero carbon emissions, and affirmed the DOE would provide modeling that demonstrates the climate benefits of a clean energy standard.

Economists agree that pricing carbon “offers the most cost-effective lever to reduce carbon emissions at the scale and speed that is necessary.” In 2020, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Climate-Related Market Risk Subcommittee concluded that it is the “single most important step to manage climate risk and drive the appropriate allocation of capital.” Carbon pricing is a policy that has garnered broad support from leaders, experts, and organizations,  including recent endorsements from the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and the American Petroleum Institute.

Rep. Peters also highlighted his POWER ON Act during the hearing as a commonsense step to expand and upgrade our long-distance high-voltage transmission systems to help deliver zero-emission electricity from rural areas where renewables are primarily generated. The bill would provide the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) with authority to permit the build-out of these cost-effective and reliable transmission systems when state-level opposition or apathy interfere.

Watch Rep. Peters’ exchange with Sec. Granholm, HERE.