SC Supports CLEAN Future Act – Stands with Pallone to Fight Climate Change

SC Supports CLEAN Future Act – Stands with Pallone to Fight Climate Change

The NJ Sierra Club joined Congressman Pallone at a press conference today announcing the CLEAN Future Act, a bold new plan to achieve a 100% clean energy economy by 2050. The draft legislation includes the following key areas: Power sector, building sector, transportation sector, industrial sector, national climate target for federal agencies, state climate plans, national climate bank, and an Environmental Justice piece.

“We are in a climate crisis and this is the most comprehensive legislation on climate change ever to be introduced into Congress. The CLEAN Future Act sets a national standard to get us to zero net carbon by 2050. Most importantly, it sets up a green bank to fund renewable energy projects and helps Environmental Justice communities in dealing with climate impacts. The plan also targets reductions in methane and emissions in our transportation sector. Even though the act is not preemptive, Congress’s proposal is also much stronger than Governor Murphy’s EMP when it comes to net-zero GHG emissions by 2050. New Jersey gets 1/3 of its pollution out of state so setting a national standard, especially for states like Pennsylvania, is important. The CLEAN Future Act is a Green Big Deal when it comes to climate change,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club.

The CLEAN Future Act proposes a nationwide CES requiring all retail electricity suppliers to obtain 100 percent clean energy by 2050. The Act establishes national energy savings targets for continued improvement of model building energy codes, leading to a requirement of zero-energy-ready buildings by 2030.

“This CLEAN Future Act calls for net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.  It sets a floor and if states want to go beyond the national standard, they can. Governor Murphy’s Energy Master Plan and New Jersey’s law only calls for 80% by then. Even though the EMP calls for 100% clean energy by 2050, it redefines clean energy in a Trumpian way by calling dirty energy clean. The Act also sets a national “buy clean” standard to create demand for low-carbon industrial materials instead of products like cement, which is one of the most greenhouse gas emitting industries,” said Tittel.  

The draft bill establishes a National Climate Bank to help fund the transition to a clean economy. The bank will help states, cities, communities, and companies fund clean technology, and will prioritize investments in communities that are disproportionately affected by climate change. It also requires that individual state climate plans consider the needs of frontline and environmental justice communities.

“Another important aspect of the CLEAN Future Act is that it focuses on reducing emissions from the transportation sector. It encourages electric vehicle charging infrastructure and sets goals to transition federal fleets to low- or zero-emission vehicles. In contrast, New Jersey’s EMP is stuck in reverse when it comes to NJ Transit. We should be moving forward on electrifying our transit system like San Francisco and other cities. Electric buses and trains are 70% cheaper to operate and would help move NJ toward 100% clean energy by 2050,” said Tittel. “This federal legislation will also regulate CO2, which New Jersey still fails to do.”

The draft bill establishes a National Climate Bank to help fund the transition to a clean economy. The bank will help states, cities, communities, and companies fund clean technology, and will prioritize investments in communities that are disproportionately affected by climate change. It also requires that individual state climate plans consider the needs of frontline and environmental justice communities.

“The CLEAN Future Act has strong environmental justice language. It prioritizes EJ communities for clean technology funding, and it requires state climate plans to consider the needs of these communities that are disproportionately affected by climate impacts. These communities continue to choke on emissions and are seeing more asthma and health impacts because of pollution. They should share the benefits of Ev’s, community solar, job training, and jobs while targeting reductions. It is important that the proposed legislation will help bring a green economy with millions of good paying jobs,” said Tittel.

Climate change is happening and happening even faster. UN Climate Report warns of a global tipping point by 2030 so it is even more important to reduce greenhouse gases as quickly as we can. Our state has the ability to regulate greenhouse gasses but has yet to do so. If the DEP were to begin regulating, including a moratorium on new fossil fuel projects, we could prevent making climate impacts worse.

“We cannot fight climate change state by state and need to have a national standard to deal with climate change. Fourteen states have enacted bills and resolutions relating to climate change, but New Jersey still is the only state in the region without a Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Plan. States like Hawaii, California, New Mexico, and New York have committed to 100% renewable energy. Even states with Republican governors like Maryland and Vermont are moving quicker on electric vehicles and regulating CO2,” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club “There are states that are doing the right thing and states that aren’t, that is why a national standard is critical. We can call this plan the Save Our Future Act.”

 

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