Rep. Peters Votes to Pass Robust Reforms to Shape and Invest in a Low-Carbon Future
September 23, 2020
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Scott Peters (CA-52) voted to pass the Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act, a wide-reaching bill to develop and deploy renewable and distributed energy resources, reduce carbon pollution, electrify our transportation sector, prioritize needs related to environmental justice in underserved communities, and more.
“Our work to battle climate change and its devastating effects requires more than every day, individual changes,” Rep. Peters said. “This work requires mobilizing critical sectors of our economy to identify and invest in innovative ways to efficiently tackle the climate crisis and create forward-thinking jobs; the Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act accomplishes that exact goal.”
A key part of the Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act includes strategies to reduce black carbon emissions from the world’s shipping industry. This measure comes directly from Rep. Peters’ 2019 bipartisan Super Pollutants Act, which encourages the federal government to coordinate efforts to mitigate three of the most potent types of climate pollutants: methane, black carbon, and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs.) The Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act also establishes a $1.25 billion grant program to prevent methane leaks from the natural gas distribution system and to offset rate increases for low-income communities.
The Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act’s investments in the research and development of carbon capture, storage, utilization, and removal to reduce net emissions from all sectors of the economy as quickly as possible are consistent with critical recommendations outlined in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s special report.
By proposing actionable solutions on methane and other pollutants, the Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act bonds the needs of our economy with comprehensive climate action. The bill creates a task force to review existing policies and develop best practices to reduce the presence of super pollutants, a measure taken from Rep. Peters’ Super Pollutant Emissions Reduction (SUPER) Act, which has been introduced in Congress since 2013. The Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act also contains provisions from another bill Rep. Peters co-led, the American Innovation and Manufacturing Leadership Act of 2020, which supports manufacturing new technologies to replace HFCs found in refrigerants, fire suppressants, aerosols, and other products with cleaner substitutes.
As we work to climb our way out of the pandemic and work to rebuild our economy, The Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act would create American manufacturing jobs and increase the competitiveness of U.S. industries abroad while also reducing emissions known to cause great environmental harm.
Additionally, this legislation targets the following objectives:
- Energy efficiency
- Sets new energy efficiency standards for buildings, which roughly count towards 30% of all greenhouse gas pollution, and provides funding for schools, homes, municipal buildings, and manufacturing facilities to improve efficiency and implement energy-efficient technologies.
- Authorizes grants to local communities to improve energy efficiency, including $500 million for workforce training and $5 billion in rebates for home retrofits.
- Renewable and clean energy:
- Authorizes over $4 billion for research, development, demonstration, and commercial application to advance cutting-edge renewable energy technologies, including solar, wind, geothermal, and water power.
- Establishes a $20 billion Clean Energy and Sustainability Accelerator to finance and mobilize private investment in low-carbon technologies and projects.
- Nuclear energy
- Invests in advanced nuclear energy research, development, demonstration and commercial application, with an emphasis on project demonstration and scale-up.
- Electric grid and cybersecurity
- Includes funding and other measures to modernize the electric grid, such as programs to improve resilience and reliability, enhance cybersecurity, protect critical infrastructure and supply chains, and improve transmission planning.
- Invests in grid-related research, development, demonstration and commercial application projects, which includes $3.5 billion in grants for projects that harden the grid against the effects of climate change.
- Authorizes over $36 billion for transportation electrification, including through grants and rebates to deploy electric vehicles and related charging infrastructure.
- Authorizes $650 million to deploy low- and zero-emissions school buses, $375 million for the Clean Cities Coalition Program, and $2.5 billion for the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act.
- Industrial innovation and competitiveness
- Establishes a clean energy workforce development program to educate and train future clean energy researchers, scientists, and professionals, including through grants to eligible businesses.
- Requires that any project funded under the Act to construct, alter, maintain, or repair a public building or public work only use iron, steel, and manufactured goods produced in the U.S.
- Environmental justice
- Prioritizes clean energy projects located in low-income and marginalized communities and advances the development of technologies and practices that expand access to clean energy.
- Creates new environmental justice grant and training programs to empower communities and reduce health disparities.