By Molly Christian, Ellie Potter, Zack Hale
Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives introduced an updated version of a broad climate action bill that would put the U.S. on a path to 100% clean electricity generation by 2035, mirroring President Joe Biden’s timeline for achieving an emissions-free power sector.
The nearly 1,000-page bill also includes provisions that would promote transmission development, require public utilities to place their transmission facilities under the control of a regional grid operator within two years, and compel public companies to disclose information about their exposure to climate-related risks.
The proposals were contained in the new version of the Climate Leadership and Environmental Action for our Nation’s Future Act, or CLEAN Future Act, which Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee introduced March 2.
“The bill marks the first introduction of a major comprehensive piece of climate legislation in over a decade, and it’s exactly the kind of federal leadership that I think the moment demands,” House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, D-N.J., said on a March 2 media call. “This is just the beginning. We are going to use regular order, and we really think that this is a major step forward and a major action plan that will define climate policy.”
Pallone said the bill, which would authorize $565 billion in spending over 10 years, does not include an explicit price on carbon, such as a carbon tax, since similar policies have failed in the past. “The votes are just not there for a price on carbon,” he explained.
The committee and subcommittees will hold hearings on the legislation and welcome input from other representatives, Pallone said. Noting that the bill contains Republican legislative proposals as well, the chairman said he hopes to move the bill through regular order with Republican participation so Democrats do not have to turn to budget reconciliation to pass it. But, he added, he will not “rule anything out.”
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