House members unveil plans for net zero carbon legislation

At a July 23 news conference, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, D-N.J., said that the committee would begin efforts to draft legislation to get U.S. carbon dioxide emissions to net-zero/100 percent clean energy by 2050.

Pallone expressed his desire to work with Republicans and other committees on the bill’s development.

Pallone was joined at the news conference by Environment Subcommittee Chairman Paul Tonko, D-N.Y., to discuss the committee’s agenda for address climate change. 

Other members in attendance at the press conference were Energy Subcommittee Chairman Bobby Rush, D-Ill., Mike Doyle, D-Pa., Darren Soto, D-Fla., Donald McEachin, D-Va., and Nanette Barragan, D-Calif.

Pallone stated that addressing climate change is a top priority of the committee and he summarized the committee’s actions to date on the issue, including House passage of H.R. 9, the Climate Action Now Act. 

Tonko laid out the process for the committee. He said the process will be inclusive and take input from all stakeholders, including environmental organizations, the electric, transportation, and industrial sectors, farmers, businesses, and local and state partners. 

The committee will hold a series of hearings that will examine reducing emissions from the industrial and transportation sectors, modernizing the electric grid, how to address the issue on an economy-wide basis (by putting a price on carbon), equity and environmental justice and sustainable forestry and agriculture.

The first hearing, “Building America’s Clean Future: Pathways to Decarbonize the Economy,” was held on July 24.

Stakeholder meetings will be held beginning in the fall and will guide the committee’s efforts to draft a bill.