Commentary: Democrats’ Green New Deal Becomes The CLEAN Future Act

Source: James Conca, Forbes, Jan 15, 2020

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce, chaired by Frank Pallone, Jr (D-NJ), released an ambitious new climate plan to ensure the United States achieves net-zero greenhouse gas pollution by 2050.

Supported by Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee Chairman Paul Tonko (D-NY) and Energy Subcommittee Chairman Bobby L. Rush (D-IL), the Climate Leadership and Environmental Action for our Nation’s (CLEAN) Future Act is a comprehensive proposal of sector-specific and economy-wide solutions to address the climate crisis.

More detailed and reasonable than the Green New Deal proposal, this draft legislation incorporates both proven and novel concepts to lower emissions. The Act includes economy-wide policies that will empower states to lead the transition to a clean economy, provide investment in federal, state, local, and private sector clean economy transition efforts, train the clean economy workforce of the future, and integrate climate change into U.S. national security planning.

On the plus side, the legislation doesn’t stipulate which energy sources or strategies qualify so isn’t pushing a renewables-only mix which we know cannot be achieved in this century. On the minus side, it does not call out nuclear and hydro, which all climate scientists say are necessary to achieve deep decarbonization in this century.

In drafting this legislation, the Committee held 15 hearings addressing the climate crisis, including seven focused on how best to facilitate deep decarbonization of various sectors of our economy.

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