A new bill introduced by Rep. Don McEachin and co-sponsored by over 150 members could set the United States on a path to an economy powered by 100% clean energy by mid-century.
If passed into law, the 100% Clean Economy Act of 2019 would require federal agencies to create a plan, using existing authorities, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050. The legislation would give the Environmental Protection Agency the power to oversee this effort. The 2050 date is in line with the deadline the world’s top climate scientists have given in order to keep global warming below 1.5°C and avert the worst impacts of climate change.
The 100% Clean Economy Act of 2019 lays out principles for federal agency action, including, but not limited to:
- Improving public health, resilience, and environmental outcomes, especially for low-income and rural communities, communities of color, Tribal and indigenous communities, de-industrialized communities, and other communities disproportionately impacted by climate change;
- Enhancing quality job creation and ensuring fairness and equity for workers and communities affected by the transition to a 100% clean economy;
- Providing benefits for consumers, small businesses, and rural communities; and preparing communities for the impacts and risks of climate change.
“The need to act on climate has never been clearer: 2019 is on pace to be one of the hottest years ever recorded and every week brings another community damaged by extreme weather events fueled by climate change,” said Congressman McEachin. “That is why we must boldly transition to a 100% clean economy. The 100% Clean Economy Act of 2019 will protect public health and our environment; create high-quality green jobs that will strengthen our economy; and mitigate the impacts of climate change for all communities and all generations. Our climate crisis demands immediate action and this bill will ensure that our children and our children’s children will have healthier lives and a stronger, more sustainable economy.”
“This bill can be a game-changer. It will press government agencies to fast track climate solutions through a variety of avenues — incentives, research and development, regulations, improved operations and more. By doing this across all agencies, we’ll put the complete might of our federal government behind addressing the existential threat of climate change. This is precisely the type of comprehensive legislation we need right now,” said Andrea McGimsey, senior director for Environment America’s Global Warming Solutions campaign, in a statement.
“This bold plan harnesses the power and resolve of our nation to confront the growing threat from climate change. It sends a message that the future belongs to those who invest in clean energy sources. And it sends a message to young people everywhere we won’t abandon you to a world of endlessly rising seas, vanishing species, civil strife and rampant wildfires, storms and floods,” said John Bowman, managing director of Government Affairs at the Natural Resources Defense Council, in a statement.
“The 100% Clean Economy Act is further evidence of the growing momentum to accelerate the transition to pollution-free renewable power. We welcome its introduction and believe the most important thing Congress can do right now to make progress toward this goal is to prioritize enactment of critical clean energy tax incentives as part of any must-pass legislation this year,” said Gregory Wetstone, president and CEO of the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), in a statement.