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Polis, Grijalva, Huffman, Jayapal, introduce nationwide roadmap to get U.S. to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050
Senators Jeff Merkley and Bernie Sanders applaud House “100 by ’50 Act"
WASHINGTON: Today, Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo.; Rep. Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz.; Rep. Jared Huffman, D-Calif.; and Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., unveiled climate legislation that would transition the United States to 100 percent clean and renewable energy by 2050.
The “100 by ’50 Act” is the first bill introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives that fully envisions a complete transition off of fossil fuels for the United States.
Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore.; Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.; Sen. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass.; and Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., introduced the Senate version in April.
“The world is being hit now with record-setting temperatures, more powerful and frequent extreme weather events, dying coral reefs, longer wildfire seasons destroying our farming and fishing industries and rural economies," said Merkley. “We are in a race against time and must must transition our fossil fuel economy to clean and renewable energy now. We have the world’s most innovative entrepreneurs and scientists. They’ve harnessed electricity, put a man on the moon, and cured disease – and they can get us to a completely clean and renewable nation, we just need a roadmap and a shared national commitment to get us there. The “100 by ‘50 Act” is that roadmap. Starting at a local, grassroots level and working toward the bold and comprehensive national vision laid out in this legislation, now is the time to commit to 100% by 2050.”
“The good news is that despite President Trump we are winning this battle,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). “In Vermont and all over this country, we are seeing communities moving toward energy efficiency and we are seeing the price of renewable energy plummet. Our job is to think big, not small. We can win the war against climate change. We can win the war in transforming our energy system to 100 percent sustainable energy and put millions of people to work doing that. We can create a planet that will be healthy and habitable for our children. There is no issue more important.”
“To remain a global economic leader, we must invest in renewable energy technology and fully embrace a cleaner, carbon-free future,” Polis said. “The “100 by ‘50 Act” outlines practical steps the federal government can take to create good-paying jobs across the United States while protecting our planet and our health. The American people deserve to have clean air as well as uncontaminated water and the United States should be the 21st century renewable energy superpower. I’m proud to introduce this bill to advance 100 percent renewable energy nationally by investing in energy generation, transmission, and storage solutions of the future, rather than throwing taxpayer dollars into the past.”
“Regardless of President Trump’s refusal to accept scientific facts, the U.S. has a global responsibility to mitigate our carbon emissions in order to ensure the survival of our Nation and its future generations,” Rep. Grijalva said. “The urgency to act on climate change goes just beyond mere survival; there is great economic incentive for American entrepreneurs to lead the way in creating a new generation of employment opportunities across this nation. The 100 by ’50 Act which I am proud to introduce alongside Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) and Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA) is an important proactive initiative to transition the U.S. to 100% renewable energy by 2050.”
“America was the first nation to land on the moon because President John F. Kennedy announced an ambitious goal, and our nation made the commitment to see it through," said Rep. Huffman. “It’s time for us to be that bold, and that serious, in our commitment to boosting clean energy innovation and tackling climate change. By laying out a clear roadmap to transition away from dirty fossil fuels, and by providing the resources and working together, we can protect our planet for generations to come and ensure all communities enjoy the benefit of this historic expansion of clean energy.”
“Climate change is threatening our planet, and along with it the future of our children – if we don’t’ act, that future will be shattered. This bill commits the United States to achieving one hundred percent renewable energy by 2050, and prioritizes a just transition to a renewable energy economy. It is the boldest action ever taken to combat climate change,” said Rep. Jayapal. “When it comes to higher rates of asthma, dangerous air pollutants, adverse health and even death at the hands of climate change, communities of color and people living on low incomes are paying a disproportionate price. We are investing in frontline communities, workers, and our economic future. This is the time to be bold.”
The “100 by ‘50 Act” has seven core components driving the complete transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050:
1. Greening the Grid: Phase-out fossil fuel electricity by 2050 and replace it with clean and renewable energy, through a mandatory fossil fuel phase-out and major investments in clean and renewable energy, storage, and grid infrastructure to ensure reliability and affordability.
2. Electrifying the Energy Economy: Electrify as much of our transportation and heating systems with power from the clean electrical grid, through a national zero emissions vehicle standard, major investments in zero emission vehicles and zero emission heating systems, as well as carbon taxing authority for commercial aviation, maritime, and rail.
3. Clean and Renewable Energy for All: Ensure that low-income and disadvantaged communities share in the benefits of a transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050, through grants to make clean energy, energy efficiency, and public transportation affordable and accessible, and to provide job training in the clean energy sector.
4. Just Transition for Workers: Provide a just transition for the people who work in today’s fossil fuel economy to find good jobs in growing industries of the future, and get fair benefits between jobs or in retirement.
5. Ending New Fossil Fuel Investments: Stop approving major fossil fuel projects like the Keystone XL Pipeline and Dakota Access Pipeline, and end special fossil fuel subsidies.
6. Ensuring American Competitiveness: Make sure that energy-intensive U.S. products maintain a level playing field with products imported from other countries by imposing a carbon tariff for imported carbon-intensive products.
7. Mobilizing American Resources: Create a major new source of funding to ensure a rapid and smooth transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050 by auctioning Climate Bonds and investing the funds in the new programs created by the “100 by ‘50 Act.” The Climate Bonds will ensure climate resiliency throughout our existing infrastructure and communities, and provide planning grants to organizations, communities, tribes and states to develop their own 100 percent plans and jump-start the transition.
Learn more about the “100 by ‘50 Act”:
Download a one-page summary of the bill here.
Download the full bill text here.
The “100 by ’50 Act” has the backing of several groups nationwide.
“The reality is inescapable: fossil fuels pollute our air, water and land, threatening our health and changing our climate even faster than scientists predicted,” said Rob Sargent, energy program director for Environment America. “But we can have healthier communities today and a livable future for our kids. In order to do that, we need to transform how we produce and consume energy. That starts with a commitment to move toward 100 percent clean, renewable energy. The 100 by 50 bill puts forward the right goal. Clean energy is on the rise, its costs are declining. Given the environmental benefits, it should be the go-to energy option for business, utilities, government and households across the country. It won’t be easy. But, we have no choice. Every day the urgency of our environmental challenges becomes clearer. That’s why we’re ready to work to move America to a future powered with clean, renewable energy.”
May Boeve, Executive Director of 350.org:
League of Conservation Voters President Gene Karpinski:
“LCV applauds Representatives Polis, Huffman, Jayapal, and Grijalva for their leadership with this legislation. Transitioning to clean energy creates jobs, protects our health, and will avoid the worst impacts of climate change. This is the type of legislation Congress should be advancing, not Trump’s agenda of putting polluters ahead of people's health and safety. LCV remains committed to working with allies like Representatives Polis, Huffman, Jayapal, and Grijalva to transition our economy to clean energy and fight Trump’s dangerous agenda.”
Michael Brune, Executive Director, Sierra Club:
“The Sierra Club applauds this ambitious legislation introduced by Representative Polis, Huffman, Jayapal, and Grijalva as it embraces the achievable goal of creating a 100% clean energy economy. In order to halt air and water pollution from dirty fossil fuels, its vital that this transition is accelerated to protect the health of our families, tackle the climate crisis, and create thousands of of good-paying jobs. The momentum toward a clean energy economy is unstoppable, and will only build thanks to this kind of leadership."
National Congress of American Indians:
“NCAI applauds the House introduction of the 100x50 Act. This legislation encourages community leaders to implement those efforts that value our natural resources for the generations to come. Indian Country often leads in discussions around Climate Change so we are encouraged that tribal governments will be able to fully participate in programs that allow us to plan for the sustainable future of our communities.”
Green For All:
“Climate change hurts us all, but it especially hurts low income communities and people of color. I know this from personal experience -- my zipcode has some of the highest rates of pollution in the country,” said Vien Truong, director of Green For All, a climate justice advocacy group. “For too long, people of color and low-income communities have paid the ultimate price for pollution, with our money and with our lives. Green For All applauds Polis, Huffman, Jayapal, and Grijalva and those who stand with them, for delivering a bill with an array of innovative solutions that address this longstanding environmental injustice and puts communities on the frontlines of pollution first.”
"More than 3 out of every 4 Latinos say they have “directly experienced the effects of climate change” in their own lives. Lack of access to clean water and healthy foods, exacerbated by increased drought and crop destroying climate disruption are hitting Latino communities hard and intensifying poverty and chronic health conditions,” Mark Magaña, President of GreenLatinos said. "This legislation will help us turn the corner on addressing climate change, putting us on a path toward a clean, renewable energy future that will improve the health and quality of life of Latino families while also ramping up economy activity from which Latino working families can participate and receive significant benefits.
Hip Hop Caucus:
Mustafa Ali, Senior Vice President for the Hip Hop Caucus said, “The “100 by ’50 Act” begins to lay the foundation for moving our most vulnerable communities from, “Surviving to Thriving”. As we move to 100% fossil free energy, we have the opportunity to decrease the disproportionate public health impacts in communities facing environmental injustices from pollution. As we move to 100% clean and renewable energy by 2050 we have the opportunity to strengthen communities and increase economic opportunities, through worker training programs and small business development that is community driven. This act gives our country an opportunity to embrace a just transition, honor the innovation and hard work that exists in communities that are often overlooked and forgotten, and revitalize Communities of color, low income communities and Indigenous populations. The “100 by ’50 Act” provides an opportunity for everyday folks to play a role in mapping a new direction for our country, that is just, equitable and provides a brighter future for all.”
“Demos applauds Representatives Polis, Huffman, Jayapal, and Grijalva for introducing a bold, and necessary, vision for achieving 100% renewable energy with a plan that will create jobs and build wealth, addressing the twin challenges of inequality and climate change. They are right to emphasize that equity at the heart of the solution, requiring, among other things, that at least 40 percent of federal revenue invested go to low-income areas and especially communities of color—which have borne the brunt of fossil fuel pollution and are most exposed to the devastating impacts of climate change on its current course. The crisis of climate change is also an opportunity to redress the inequities of the fossil fuel economy and rebuild a new economy for all of us."
“It is also exciting to see the potential for alignment between federal policy and state-level policies such as the NY Renews coalition’s Climate and Community Protection Act, a 100% renewables bill which first established the bar of 40 percent investment in low-income communities when it was introduced last spring. To deepen such alignment with state and local organizations and strategies, and to improve the federal policy design where needed, we look forward to seeing continuing stakeholder engagement from Representatives Polis, Grijalva and Huffman, especially with community-based environmental and racial justice leaders, who have been fighting this fight all along.”