September 24, 2020

New Democrat Coalition Continues to Build on Ambitious Climate Change Agenda

The NDC endorses third slate of climate change bills

Washington, DC Today, the New Democrat Coalition (NDC), led by NDC Chair Derek Kilmer (WA-06) and NDC Climate Change Task Force Co-Chairs Don Beyer (VA-08), Sean Casten (IL-06), Elaine Luria (VA-02), and Susan Wild (PA-07), endorsed its third slate of bills to combat climate change. These bills build on the NDC’s ambitious and actionable agenda to meet the climate crisis with the urgency it demands, leveraging every decarbonization solution available to advance a swift and just transition to a more sustainable planet and economy.

Building on the NDC Priorities for U.S. Climate Policy, the NDC will continue to take action on climate change with a robust legislative agenda to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 at the latest. This slate of endorsements includes the following bills: 

  • Rep. Ed Perlmutter’s H.R. 8021 – The Green Neighborhoods Act  
    • This bill will require the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to implement energy efficiency standards and incentives for new and existing housing structures and improve energy efficiency in manufactured housing. It will also require a report to Congress detailing the current state of energy and water usage in the multifamily property sector as well as estimates of potential energy and cost savings of energy efficiency programs implemented at HUD-assisted properties.
  • Reps. Mikie Sherrill & Lisa Blunt Rochester’s H.R. 5542 – The Mitigate Methane Now Act
    • This bill will encourage the replacement of old, home distribution pipelines, which are a major source of methane leakage across the country and to help mitigate climate change immediately. This bill will help ensure that lower- and fixed-income consumers are protected from increases in their monthly bill when these important repairs and modernization efforts occur, by creating a grant program for states that can be used to offset the impact of rate increases to low-income households while also providing incentive for natural gas distribution companies to accelerate, expand, and enhance improvement to their distribution system.
  • Reps. Ted Lieu and Stacey Plaskett’s H.R. 2360 – The Renewable Energy for Puerto Rico & the U.S. Virgin Islands Act
    • The bill will empower local communities to develop and use renewable energy sources by creating a grant program for investments in renewable energy, energy efficiency, energy storage, smart grids and micro grids projects as well as training local residents. The grants will be awarded to non-profit organizations and the Department of Energy’s National Laboratories may provide technical assistance.
  • Reps. Marc Veasey and Lizzie Fletcher’s H.R. 3607 – The Fossil Energy Research & Development Act
    • This bill will reauthorize and expand research, development, and demonstration of carbon capture technologies for power plants and industrial sources. It will also authorize R&D activities in carbon storage, carbon utilization, improvements in efficiency, and rare earth elements. In addition, the bill will launch new initiatives in carbon dioxide removal, waste gas utilization, and methane leak detection and mitigation. Finally, it will authorize special hiring authority and laboratory-directed research and development activities for the DOE Office of Fossil Energy’s laboratory, the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) located in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Oregon, providing the lab with similar tools that have enabled successful technology development initiatives at DOE’s other national laboratories.
  • Rep. Don Beyer’s H.R. 8253 – The Strengthening Coastal Communities Act
    • This bipartisan bill will direct 30% of offshore wind revenues to NOAA’s Coastal Resilience Grants Program, which funds projects to help coastal communities and ecosystems prepare for and recover from extreme weather events, climate hazards, and changing ocean conditions. This bill builds on Reps. Beyer and Rooney’s H.R. 4093, the National Ocean and Coastal Security Improvements Act, which was previously endorsed by the New Democrat Coalition.
  • Rep. Ami Bera’s H.R. 5760 – The Grid Security Research & Development Act
    • This bill will authorize a comprehensive, coordinated research effort to advance cybersecurity capabilities for the energy sector across Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Homeland Security, National Institute of Standards and Technology, and National Science Foundation. The bill will also authorize DOE to develop technologies to enhance the resilience of the electric grid and to improve relevant emergency response and management activities, including the development of technologies to withstand the impacts of climate change and extreme weather on energy sector infrastructure.

“There simply isn’t a moment to lose to combat the climate crisis and get our country on the path to net-zero carbon pollution. To protect our communities, our national security and our economic interests, the federal government has a moral obligation to act,” said NDC Chair Derek Kilmer (WA-06). “This slate of bills is another step towards addressing the climate crisis. I am proud of the New Democrat Coalition for its continued leadership on climate change. We will continue pushing these policies forward to transition to a climate-forward economy.”

“This summer, historically destructive natural disasters continued to drive home the urgency of the climate crisis. The New Democratic Coalition and its Climate Change Task Force are focused on addressing that crisis as quickly and effectively as possible,” said NDC Climate Change Task Force Co-Chair Don Beyer (VA-08). “None of these bills will reverse climate change by themselves, but each will move us in the right direction as we continue to craft the kind of comprehensive, societal shift towards a clean energy economy. We remain committed to meaningful climate action, and support the important progress represented in this legislation, which I am proud to see includes my legislation to boost resilience in coastal communities.”

“The climate crisis is the greatest challenge of our lifetimes. We’ve seen fires rage across the West and hurricanes batter the Gulf Coast, all just ?in the past few months. We need to stand up and take action to reduce our carbon emissions and fight the threat of climate change now,” said NDC Climate Change Task Force Co-Chair Sean Casten (IL-06). ?“The bills that the New Democrat Coalition Climate Change Task Force has endorsed ?are a start and represent a down payment on action necessary ?to meet this moment.”

“Here in Coastal Virginia, rising sea levels and recurrent flooding are challenges that we experience every day,” said NDC Climate Change Task Force Co-Chair Elaine Luria (VA-02). “I am honored to join my New Democrat Coalition colleagues to endorse this slate of bills, which will protect our communities and infrastructure from the threats of a changing climate and move us closer to a clean energy future. As Co-Chair of the New Democratic Coalition Climate Change Task Force, I will continue working to support policies that will protect our environment for generations to come.”   

“Powering our country through cleaner energy sources is not just an environmental imperative, it’s also an economic priority. By adopting a smart, inclusive approach, we can protect our environment while also creating millions of decent-paying jobs that can’t be outsourced,” said NDC Climate Change Task Force Co-Chair Susan Wild (PA-07). “I’m proud to see several of these forward-thinking pieces of legislation included in the Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act, and know that they will help restore our leadership in the global energy sector and preserve our planet in our time and for generations to come.”

These endorsements advance two key components of the NDC’s 20 for 2020 Policy Agenda, the “Lead Global Climate Action” and “Transition to a Climate-Forward Economy” priorities, by reclaiming the nation’s position as a leader in the fight against climate change, promoting innovation and the deployment of climate-forward technologies and energy efficiency in the American economy, and fostering community adaptation and resilience. Read the NDC’s Priorities for U.S. Climate Policy, one pager, and the full list of New Dem-endorsed climate change bills from the 116th Congress.