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House Democrats have reintroduced a revised version of the CLEAN Future Act that aims to set the United States on course to a carbon neutrality future by 2050.
"The CLEAN Future Act would achieve net zero greenhouse gas pollution no later than 2050, with an interim target of reducing pollution by 50 percent from 2005 levels no later than 2030," the House Committee on Energy and Commerce said in a press release. "The targets come from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which has said we must cut carbon pollution to net zero by 2050 to avoid the most catastrophic consequences of climate change."
"The climate crisis is one of the greatest challenges of our lifetime, but it also presents one of the greatest opportunities to empower American workers with new, good paying jobs and return our economy to a position of strength after a long, dark year of historic job losses and pain," Committee Chairman Frank Pallone said.
Climate change is a top priority for the new U.S. administration, and legislators have been swift to set a course for more action on climate-related issues. In the first days of his presidency, Joe Biden rejoined the Paris Agreement that seeks to curb global temperature increases by reducing emissions and imposed a temporary moratorium on oil and gas drilling on federal land.
Yet, according to legislators, including the En4rgy Committee's Pallone, this is far from enough.
"We must take decisive action this decade to ensure we're on a path to reaching that target," Pallone said last month, as quoted by the Houston Chronicle. "The administration has many tools at its disposal, but the fact is without additional legislative action, we can't fully address the scale, scope and urgency of the climate crisis."
Environmental groups welcomed the CLEAN (Climate Leadership and Environmental Action for our Nation's) Future Act.
"The CLEAN Future Act is urgently needed; it harnesses our ingenuity, resources and determination at the scale needed to curb the growing climate crisis," said John Bowman, managing director for government affairs at the Natural Resources Defense Council. "It will invest in good-paying jobs for workers transitioning away from fossil fuels to clean transportation and energy. It will strive to shield communities from health and economic harm wrought by climate change."
"We are pleased to see the House dialing up its ambitions to tackle the climate crisis and advance environmental justice with the CLEAN Future Act," said Jessica Ennis, Legislative Director for Climate and Energy at Earthjustice. "The bill includes policies that would accelerate the transition to zero emissions transportation powered by 100% clean energy."
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com