LOWELL, MA – Yesterday, Congresswoman Lori Trahan (MA-03) voted in favor of H.R. 4447, the Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act, a package of bipartisan bills that finally provides a path towards modernizing our outdated energy system while also making tremendous progress in tackling the climate crisis and growing our economy.
“The climate crisis continues to rage across America. It’s imperative that we take immediate and serious action to mitigate the effects of climate change,” said Congresswoman Trahan. “With passage of the Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act, we’ve proven that combating climate change doesn’t have to come at the cost of American jobs. This legislation will allow us to live up to the promise to our children of a better life by finally investing in green energy and the millions of jobs that come with it. The Senate has the ability to take this legislation up without delay. They simply need the willpower.”
The Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act makes long-overdue reforms to U.S. energy policy and authorizes major investments in the transition to a low-carbon future. The legislation promises to usher in a new era in American innovation, serving as a down-payment on comprehensive climate action.
The package includes programs to develop and deploy renewable and distributed energy resources; improve the efficiency of our homes and businesses; electrify our transportation sector; modernize the grid and enhance its resiliency; prioritize the needs of environmental justice communities; reduce carbon pollution from industrial and traditional sources; and much more.
Specifically, H.R. 4447 addresses:
- Supports the transition to a low-carbon economy by investing in clean energy, distributed energy resources, energy storage systems, and microgrids – all of which build resiliency and are crucial to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
- Authorizes over $4 billion for research, development, demonstration, and commercial application to advance cutting-edge renewable energy technologies, including solar, wind, geothermal, and water power.
- Invests in advanced nuclear energy research and development, with a strong emphasis on project demonstration and scale-up.
- Brings clean, reliable energy to marginalized communities, including $25 million for grants to deploy energy storage and microgrids in rural communities and $1 billion for solar installations in low-income communities.
- Establishes a $20 billion Clean Energy and Sustainability Accelerator to finance and mobilize private investment in low-carbon technologies and projects.
- Sets new energy efficiency standards for buildings, which roughly count towards 30% of greenhouse gas pollution, and provides funding for schools, homes, municipal buildings, and manufacturing facilities to improve efficiency and deploy energy-efficient technologies.
- Authorizes grants to local communities to improve energy efficiency, including $500 million for workforce training and $5 billion in rebates for home retrofits.
- Boosts funding for popular and proven energy efficiency programs, providing nearly $1.7 billion for the Weatherization Assistance Program and $17.5 billion for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program.
Workforce Development and Labor Protections:
- Establishes a clean energy workforce development program to educate and train the next generation of clean energy researchers, scientists, and professionals, including through grants to eligible businesses.
- Requires that any project funded under the Act to construct, alter, maintain, or repair a public building or public work only use iron, steel, and manufactured goods produced in the United States.
- Includes strong prevailing wage standards and project labor agreement requirements for any project fully or partially funded under the Act.
- Invests in the technology and infrastructure needed to electrify and substantially reduce emissions from the transportation sector, which is the largest source of greenhouse gas pollution in the U.S.
- Authorizes over $36 billion for transportation electrification, including through grants and rebates to deploy electric vehicles and related charging infrastructure.
- Authorizes $650 million to deploy low- and zero-emissions school buses, $375 million for the Clean Cities Coalition Program, and $2.5 billion for the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act.
Grid Modernization, Cybersecurity, and Supply Chain Security:
- Includes funding and other measures to modernize the electric grid, such as programs to improve resilience and reliability, enhance cybersecurity, protect critical infrastructure and supply chains, and improve transmission planning.
- Invests in grid-related projects, including through $3.5 billion in grants for projects that harden the grid against the effects of climate change and improve resilience and security.
Reducing Carbon Pollution and Enhancing Industrial Innovation:
- Establishes new programs to accelerate the deployment of technologies that reduce emissions from the industrial sector, including $500 million in grants for demonstration projects.
- Invests in carbon capture, utilization, and storage initiatives, including direct air capture, to significantly reduce net emissions from all sectors of the economy as quickly as possible.
- Includes a phasedown of the production and consumption of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), a highly potent greenhouse gas, by 85 percent over 15 years. Enacting this provision could help avoid up to 0.5 degree Celsius of warming while creating American manufacturing jobs and making U.S. industry more competitive globally.
- Establishes a $1.25 billion grant program to prevent methane leaks from the natural gas distribution system and to offset rate increases for low-income communities.