Doyle Announces Release of CLEAN Future Act

January 29, 2020
Press Release

Washington, DC – U.S. Representative Mike Doyle (PA-18) announced today that House Democrats have released draft language for the CLEAN Future Act, legislation to halt climate change, as well as the outline of, legislation to rebuild our nation’s crumbling infrastructure to be safer, greener, and more resilient.

“We can tackle climate change by building smarter, greener, and safer,” said Congressman Doyle. “It will also create good new jobs. I believe the CLEAN Future Act and Moving Forward framework would put us on a glidepath to a sustainable economy.”

The CLEAN Future Act would enact policies recommended by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the world’s leading climate scientists for transitioning our country to a 100 percent clean energy economy in time to prevent a devastating rise in global temperatures.  It would employ proven effective policies and invest heavily in innovative solutions to decarbonize the economy:

Power Sector:  The CLEAN Future Act would establish a nationwide Clean Electricity Standard (CES) requiring all retail electricity suppliers to obtain 100 percent of their energy from clean energy sources by 2050.  The mandate is technology-neutral, allowing electricity suppliers flexibility and freedom of choice.

Building Sector: The draft legislation aims to improve the efficiency of new and existing buildings, as well as the equipment and appliances that operate within them, by establishing national energy savings targets for continued improvement of model building energy codes, leading up to a requirement that new buildings be zero-energy-ready by 2030. 

Transportation Sector: The draft legislation seeks to reduce transportation emissions, the largest source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, by improving vehicle efficiency, accelerating the transition to low- to zero-carbon vehicles and building the infrastructure needed for a clean transportation system. The bill seeks to achieve this by directing the EPA to set new, increasingly stringent greenhouse gas emission standards for vehicles, leading to net-zero emissions by 2050. 

Industrial Sector: The CLEAN Future Act would establish a Buy Clean Program that set performance targets to steadily reduce emissions from construction materials and products used in projects that received federal funding. Given that the state, local, and federal governments are major players in the U.S. market for construction materials like concrete and steel, this approach would create a strong incentive for the carbon-intensive industries that produce them to use only the cleanest construction materials.  The program would also have the effect of improving the international competitiveness of the U.S. manufacturing sector and expand the market for cleaner products.

National Climate Target for Federal Agencies: The CLEAN Future Act would direct all federal agencies to use all existing authorities to put the country on a path toward net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. To ensure federal agencies’ collective efforts remain on track, the draft legislation directs the Environmental Protection Agency to evaluate each agency’s plans, make recommendations and report on progress each year.

State Climate Plans: The CLEAN Future Act would involve the states in the transition to a net-zero economy, based on the existing federalism model in the Clean Air Act. The bill sets a national climate standard of net-zero greenhouse gas pollution in each state by 2050. States would have flexibility in developing plans to meet the 2050 and interim standards based on their state’s individual circumstances, resources, and needs. States could work independently or cooperatively as they developed their plans to meet the national climate standard. To assist states in their planning, the bill would direct the EPA to develop a set of model greenhouse gas control strategies, which states could choose to incorporate into their plans.

National Climate Bank: The CLEAN Future Act would establish a National Climate Bank to help states, cities, communities, and companies make the transition to a clean economy. The Bank is intended to mobilize public and private investments to provide financing for low- and zero-emissions energy technologies, climate resiliency, building efficiency and electrification, industrial decarbonization, grid modernization, agriculture projects, and clean transportation. The CLEAN Future Act would require that the Bank prioritize investments in communities that are disproportionately affected by the impacts of climate change, including frontline, rural, low-income, and environmental justice communities.

Environmental Justice: The draft legislation would require that states’ individual climate plans and state implementation plans for other hazardous air pollutants proactively consider the needs of frontline and environmental justice communities. The draft also includes grant programs to allow impacted communities to participate in the permitting and regulation of petrochemical facilities in their neighborhoods. It would further protect these groups by implementing strong new coal ash disposal requirements and repealing oil and gas production exemptions from landmark environmental laws.

For the section-by-section points of this draft legislation, please click here.

Today, House Democrats also released the outline of legislation that would complement the CLEAN Future Act by rebuilding our nation’s crumbling infrastructure to be safer, greener, and more resilient. The Moving Forward framework would fix structurally deficient bridges, improve the resilience of infrastructure, expand viable public transit options, repair and invest in clean water and wastewater infrastructure, and encourage communities to build more energy efficient buildings. It would also invest in the deployment of broadband infrastructure to communities nationwide and help to revitalize economically distressed communities. 

For a summary of this framework, please click here.