WASHINGTON -- Leaders in the U.S. House of Representatives announced a major new initiative this afternoon that calls for net zero emissions of global warming pollution in the United States by midcentury. This science-based target aims to keep global warming below 1.5 additional degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) in order to avert the worst impacts of climate change.
Reps. Frank Pallone, Paul Tonko and Bobby Rush released a detailed memo summarizing the scope of the CLEAN Future Act. The Energy and Commerce Committee leaders also announced a series of next steps for public feedback on the proposed provisions. The congressmen hope this dialogue will galvanize support for the national economy-wide transformation necessary to make meaningful progress on this issue.
Anya Fetcher, state director for Environment Maine, issued the following statement:
“Global warming affects every single Mainer -- from our families to our broader communities. We are already seeing significant life-threatening impacts every year, and if we continue to spew planet-warming pollution into our atmosphere, it will only get worse.
“This bill represents the most ambitious example of congressional leadership on climate in more than a decade. It aims to establish a road map and national dialogue about how we can best move forward as a nation to address the climate crisis and get off fossil fuels, once and for all.
“We applaud Reps. Pallone, Tonko and Rush for sparking more national dialogue on this pressing threat. We call on Representative Jared Golden to engage in this process to push the best solutions for our state and the nation. Maine is a great state for renewable energy, with significant opportunities for offshore wind. Additionally, many of our major industries - lobster, timber, agriculture, tourism - rely on a healthy and stable ecosystem. Therefore, we ask Congressman Golden to make sure the legislation calls for 100% renewable energy by 2050, at the latest.
“We need a stable climate to protect the present and the future, and we’re excited to work with the authors of this bill so that it provides the momentum we need to meet that goal.”
Environment Maine is a citizen-based environmental advocacy organization committed to defending our environment through independent research, tough-minded advocacy, and spirited grassroots action.