Langevin Applauds Passage of Sweeping Climate Action Legislation

Sep 24, 2020 Issues: Economy and Jobs, Energy & Environment, Housing, Transportation

WASHINGTON – Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI) today voted in favor of H.R. 4447, the Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act, a sweeping package that includes bipartisan bills to advance comprehensive climate action. The legislation supports the development of renewable energy, makes investments to modernize and bolster the resiliency of the nation’s power grid, tackles carbon pollution, and promotes the adoption of electric vehicles while prioritizing the needs of communities on the front lines of climate change and the creation of good-paying jobs. The bill passed the House by a vote of 220-185.

“The impacts of climate change are clearly visible in Rhode Island and in communities across the country, and we cannot delay taking decisive action to preserve our planet for future generations,” said Langevin, who serves as Energy Task Force Chair for the House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition. “I’m proud to support the Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act because we must expand investments in renewable energy sources, promote the transition to electric vehicles, modernize and protect the power grid, support clean energy jobs, and reduce harmful emissions. This legislation will help get our nation back on track to be a global leader in clean and sustainable energy.”  

To reduce greenhouse emissions and support the nation’s transition to a low-carbon economy, the legislation authorizes:

  • More than $4 billion for the research, development, and application of renewable energy including solar, wind, geothermal, and hydroelectric technologies.
  • $20 billion for a Clean Energy and Sustainability Accelerator to publicly finance and stimulate private investment in clean, renewable energy and emissions reduction projects.

H.R. 4447 will advance energy efficiency by setting new efficiency standards for buildings and providing funding to implement energy efficiency technologies at schools, homes, government buildings, and manufacturing facilities. The bill authorizes:

  • $500 million for workforce training to develop the next generation of energy workers.
  • $5 billion in support of rebates for home retrofits to benefit underserved communities.
  • $1.7 billion for the Weatherization Assistance Program that helps reduce heating bills for low-income households.
  • $17.5 billion for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant to help local governments reduce energy use and fossil fuel emissions.

The legislation advances environmental justice by prioritizing the needs and concerns of frontline communities bearing the brunt of climate change. The package:

  • Prioritizes energy projects in low-income and marginalized communities.
  • Creates new environmental justice grant and training programs to empower communities and reduce health disparities.
  • Establishes a $1.25 billion grant program to prevent methane leaks and offset rate increases for low-income Americans.
  • Requires that federal agencies integrate environmental justice into their missions.

Finally, charting a course to drastically reduce emissions from the transportation sector – the largest source of greenhouse gases in the nation – it includes:

  • $36 billion for transportation electrification efforts supporting grants and rebates to deploy electric vehicles and expand and improve related charging infrastructure.
  • $650 million to support the deployment of low- and zero-emissions school buses.
  • $375 million for the Clean Cities Coalition Program.
  • $2.5 billion supporting grants and revolving loans that help reduce diesel emissions.