Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) released the following statement today applauding Senate passage of historic clean energy and climate provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act, which are expected to slash our nation’s greenhouse gas pollution by 40 percent by 2030:
“With Senate passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, we are one step closer to a historic milestone in tackling the climate crisis and protecting our communities from its impacts. This bill is the single-largest investment in climate action in American history. It makes unparalleled investments in climate, clean energy, and environmental justice, while creating new clean jobs and lowering energy costs for American families. Moreover, this bill will slash our nation’s climate pollution 40 percent by 2030 and put us on track to meet our aggressive climate goals.
“I’m pleased the Inflation Reduction Act includes many of the climate and clean energy provisions that my Energy and Commerce Committee drafted and marked-up last September. Notably, the Methane Emissions Reduction Program takes bold action to drive down dangerous methane pollution from the oil and gas industry by spurring innovation and holding polluters accountable for leaks of one of the most potent greenhouse gases. The Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund invests an unprecedented $27 billion to deploy low- and zero-emission technologies nationwide and harden our most vulnerable communities against climate disasters. These and other key provisions – such as commonsense investments in clean heavy-duty vehicles and home energy efficiency upgrades – make this bill one of the greatest victories for protecting the health of our climate and our communities.
“Today marks a breakthrough in our response to the climate crisis and lays the foundation for a cleaner, more prosperous future for us all. I look forward to supporting the Inflation Reduction Act in the House and seeing this historic legislation become law.”
The Inflation Reduction Act includes a number of key energy and environmental provisions originally authored by Pallone and other Committee members and passed out of the Committee in September 2020 following a three day markup. The provisions were then passed by the House of Representatives in November 2020. Following are some of the key provisions that passed out of the Committee.
Methane Emissions Reduction Program:
The Inflation Reduction Act establishes a Methane Emissions Reduction Program to control excess methane pollution from the oil and gas industry above specific waste emissions thresholds. The program builds on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) existing Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program, recognizes the cleanest performers, holds individual companies responsible for their own leaks and excess methane pollution, drives innovation in the sector, creates good-paying jobs, and supports projects to protect American communities from the effects of the climate crisis.
Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund:
The Inflation Reduction Act invests $27 billion in nonprofit, state, and local climate finance institutions that support the rapid deployment of low- and zero-emission technologies, including solar and other distributed resources. These financing entities will build on the successful track record of similar programs across the United States, leveraging public and private investment to help communities reduce or avoid greenhouse gas emissions and other forms of air pollution. At least 40 percent of investments will be made in low-income and disadvantaged communities.
Investing in Clean Energy Innovation and Communities:
The Inflation Reduction Act invests more than $15 billion in multiple loan and grant programs at the Department of Energy (DOE) to support the development of innovative technologies and American manufacturing of zero emission transportation technologies. The legislation also provides the Secretary of Energy with the resources to enable more than $300 billion in investments in American energy, Tribal, and other communities, all while reducing electricity ratepayer costs.
Climate Pollution Reduction Grants:
The Inflation Reduction Act invests $5 billion through EPA for states, municipalities, and Indian Tribes to develop and implement plans to reduce climate pollution. The legislation provides $250 million to develop plans and directs the Agency to make planning grants to at least one recipient in each state. EPA will then competitively award $4.75 billion to implement the plans to reduce climate pollution.
Clean Heavy-Duty Vehicles:
The Inflation Reduction Act invests $1 billion in replacing certain heavy-duty vehicles, such as refuse trucks and school buses, with zero emission vehicles through a new grant program at the EPA. In addition to funding new clean vehicles, this program will provide funds for associated infrastructure and workforce development and training.
Appliance and Building Efficiency Rebates:
The Inflation Reduction Act invests $9 billion in home energy efficiency and appliance electrification rebates and ensures that low-income and underserved communities have access to these energy-saving upgrades. Buildings account for some 30 percent of greenhouse gas pollution in the United States. Reducing energy usage and electrifying appliances is crucial to tackling the climate crisis.
Industrial Emissions Reductions:
The Inflation Reduction Act invests $5.8 billion for installing and implementing advanced industrial technology at energy intensive industrial and manufacturing facilities. These critical investments in the hard to decarbonize industrial sector will drive large emissions reductions, while protecting jobs, competitiveness, and demonstrating the global leadership of U.S. industries.
Environmental and Climate Justice Block Grants:
The Inflation Reduction Act invests $3 billion to community-led projects that address environmental and public health harms related to pollution and climate change. This grant program provides direct funding to the communities most impacted by climate change and environmental injustice, funding local projects and solutions to decrease pollution and increase climate readiness.
The Inflation Reduction Act invests $3 billion to reduce air pollution at ports and in the communities that surround them. Ports are vital economic lifelines in the United States, but also significant sources of pollution that contribute to climate change and threaten public health. These grants will support the purchase and installation of zero-emission equipment and technology, as well as the development of climate action plans, at ports. At least 25 percent of investments will be made at ports in nonattainment areas.
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