House Democrats revealed a 547-page climate crisis action plan in mid-June that is being billed as “the most ambitious climate change plane to date,” according to Politico.
The plan was issued by the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis and is titled “Solving the Climate Crisis: The Congressional Action Plan for a Clean Energy Economy and a Healthy, Resilient, and Just America.”
The Climate Crisis Action Plan (the Plan) contains hundreds of recommendations grouped into 12 “pillars,” which are:
- Invest in Infrastructure to Build a Just, Equitable, and Resilient Clean Energy Economy
- Drive Innovation and Deployment of Clean Energy and Deep Decarbonization Technologies
- Transform U.S. Industry and Expand Domestic Manufacturing of Clean Energy and Zero-Emission Technologies
- Break Down Barriers for Clean Energy Technologies
- Invest in America’s Workers and Build a Fairer Economy
- Invest in Disproportionately Exposed Communities to Cut Pollution and Advance Environmental Justice
- Improve Public Health and Manage Climate Risks to Health Infrastructure
- Invest in American Agriculture for Climate Solutions
- Make U.S. Communities More Resilient to the Impacts of Climate Change
- Protect and Restore America’s Lands, Waters, Ocean, and Wildlife
- Confront Climate Risks to America’s National Security and Restore America’s Leadership on the International Stage
- Strengthen America’s Core Institutions to Facilitate Climate Action
Specific initiatives proposed within the plan include:
- Net-zero emissions from automobiles in 2035, the energy sector by 2040, nationwide net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, and “net-negative” emissions by 2100—to be achieved mainly by broad changes to federal energy and environmental laws.
- Creating a focus on environmental justice and advancing environmental justice initiatives calling for legislation that would direct the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) “to consider the cumulative pollution impacts of the facilities it permits” and “support federal and academic research of the cumulative and distributional impacts of federal climate, health, and environmental policy on environmental justice communities.…”
- An “Energy Efficiency Resource Standard” that addresses increased electricity demand and energy prices.
- Increased energy tax incentives and grant programs, particularly focused upon energy storage and “equitable access” to clean energy resources for marginalized communities.
- Programs and incentives for updated building codes requiring net-zero emissions for all new buildings by 2030.
- “Water infrastructure resilience” standards to address climate change impacts such as flooding, droughts, and erosion.
- Calls for Congress to invest in “Next Generation 9-1-1” and wireless technology to ensure reliable communications.
- 70% methane pollution deductions for the oil and gas industry by 2025, with 2012 levels to be used as the comparison point.
- A call for Congress to “support all stages of climate-related innovation by recommitting to Mission Innovation—a global initiative working to accelerate global clean energy innovation.…”
- Tax code revisions to repeal “tax breaks for large oil and gas companies” and a carbon pricing mechanism paired with policies that achieve measurable pollution reductions in environmental justice communities.
- The Plan advocates for Congress to support strengthening union representation and the creation of a National Economic Transition office that would “coordinate, scale up, and target federal economic and workforce development assistance to communities and workers.”
- Proposes to have Congress direct the U.S. Department of Health to “develop a national strategic action plan to assist communities and health departments in preparing for and responding to climate-related health risks,” increase support for “global surveillance and response to potential health threats,” and additional capacity for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in climate-related endeavors.
- Investments to encourage farmers and ranchers to “employ climate stewardship practices.”
- New federal programs for communities, including a National Climate Adaptation Program, to provide technical assistance; a Tribal Government Task Force; and a Climate Risk Information Service. The Plan advises requiring “major government suppliers to disclose greenhouse gas emissions and climate risks to their supply chains and operations as a consideration for the award of federal contracts.”
- Recommends protecting “at least 30% of all U.S. lands and ocean areas by 2030,” achieving net-zero emissions on public lands and waters by 2040, inflicting a moratorium on all new fossil fuel leases on public lands, and prohibiting “new offshore oil and gas leasing in all areas of the Outer Continental Shelf.”
- Require climate change considerations in defense procurement and supply chains; require “agencies with national defense, homeland security, and science missions to identify and confront climate security threats; and “deliver on U.S. financial commitments to the Green Climate Fund.”
- The Plan calls for increased federal support for climate science and expanding the Congressional Budget Office’s capacity “to analyze the fiscal and economic impacts of proposed legislation related to climate risk.”