U.S. Reps. David B. McKinley, P.E. (R-W.Va.) and Kurt Schrader (D-OR) today introduced the Clean Energy Future through Innovation Act of 2021, a bipartisan proposal to boost innovation of clean energy technologies and reduce emissions from the power sector while preserving affordability and reliability.
The legislation would make significant investments in energy innovation and infrastructure, including carbon capture, advanced nuclear, renewables, efficiency, and storage. After a decade of innovation, it establishes a technology-neutral clean energy standard that would reduce CO2 emissions 80% by 2050. The legislation has bipartisan broad support from utilities to environmental groups to labor.
"America needs energy policy that can endure, rather than one that changes after each election and judicial decision," said Rep. McKinley. "Our bipartisan approach will not only reduce carbon emissions while ensuring affordable and resilient electricity, it will position the United States as a global leader in clean energy innovation. By working together and making investments we will be able to export technology to the rest of the world and provide a global solution to this problem."
"Climate change is real, and as we witnessed with last summer's devastating wildfires in Oregon and other Western states, its impact puts us all at risk. That's why we need a bold, bipartisan solution that takes an "all-of-the-above' approach to tackling the threat," Rep. Schrader said. "The plan I introduced with my Republican colleague Congressman McKinley -- the Clean Energy Future through Innovation Act of 2021 -- would combat climate change by making investments in the next generation of low-carbon and clean energy technologies, while establishing clear and durable policies for their use that will reduce harmful carbon emissions in the electric power sector by a net 95%. By working together to cut carbon emissions and create new technologies and jobs, we will ensure a better, safer planet for our children and grandchildren."
The bill introduction comes after Reps. McKinley and Schrader released a discussion draft in September and introduced legislation in December 2020. They continued to receive feedback and refined the bill further before reintroducing.
Joining Reps. McKinley and Schrader as original cosponsors are Representatives Claudia Tenney (R-NY) and Jim Costa (D-CA).
"America has and must continue to lead the way in developing innovative clean energy solutions. This legislation capitalizes on affordable and reliable power production from a range of sources while investing in forward-thinking energy technologies that will have a positive impact on our environment, without picking winners and losers or crushing jobs here at home," said Congresswoman Tenney. "The Clean Energy Future through Innovation Act is reasonable and realistic, and it brings a diverse group of stakeholders together to ensure America continues to prioritize responsible clean energy innovation."
"The devastating effects of climate change are getting worse every year, but we can work to mitigate the damage by investing in new and innovative ways to fight it," said Rep. Costa. "This bill will work to develop 21st century solutions to reduce our carbon footprint and develop clean energy technology to protect our environment. We must do what we can to ensure we live in and leave behind a safer and more sustainable world for the next generation."
The plan calls for a decade of public and private investments in clean energy innovation and infrastructure development, followed by new regulatory standards to ensure environmental and energy goals are met. Innovation alone isn't enough. We must clarify what federal law will (and will not) require, to provide a stable and predictable policy framework for investors and electric utilities in the decades ahead. Executive orders and administrative actions that prolong the political and legal battles won't solve this problem -- but bipartisan legislation can.
Last year, Reps. McKinley and Schrader outlined their approach in an opinion piece in the USA Today's Hidden Common Ground Section urging a new, more pragmatic legislative approach.
Click to see the bill text here.
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