House Democrats Release 'Bold' Plan to Tackle Carbon Emissions by 2050
Thursday, July 2, 2020
PORTLAND, Ore. -- House Democrats in Congress have released a comprehensive plan for getting the United States to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
The Climate Crisis Action Plan has proposals for cleaning up the country's biggest carbon-emitting sectors, including electricity, transportation and manufacturing.
Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, D-Ore., is a member of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, which released the plan.
"We know from the science -- the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, for example -- we have to take bold action," Bonamici said, "and this Climate Crisis Action Plan gives us the road map to do just that."
Measures in the plan could save an estimated 62,000 premature deaths a year and provide close to $8 trillion in health- and climate-related benefits over the next three decades, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan firm Energy Innovation.
The plan sets out emissions goals for various sectors. Its Clean Energy Standard, to get the electricity sector to zero-net carbon by 2040, would create more than 500,000 jobs a year, according to Energy Innovation.
Bonamici noted that this would create high-quality jobs, which is more important than ever at a moment when millions are out of work because of COVID-19.
"There's tremendous potential. This is an opportunity to grow our economy in a way that's healthier and fairer," she said. "There's environmental-justice provisions woven throughout."
In addition, she said, it's important to acknowledge that communities of color, low-income and indigenous communities are disproportionately burdened by environmental hazards and are bearing the brunt of climate change. That's why environmental justice is a central tenet of the plan.
Bonamici said it's time for the federal government to lead on the movement toward a clean economy: "I applaud the states that are forward-thinking and are enacting policies that help to address the climate crisis. But we really need to do this on a national level."
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