House Democrats release plan to address climate crisis - CBS News
GVF is excited to see Transportation Demand Management (TDM) included in the report as a strategy to “inform and encourage travelers to maximize the efficiency of a transportation system leading to improved mobility, reduced congestion, and lower vehicle emissions.”
It's been about five decades since the passage of meaningful federal environmental protections in the United States, like the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act. On climate change, other than executive actions during the Obama administration, policy action has been virtually nonexistent.
However, recent polling shows most American want to see federal action on climate. A Pew Research survey published just last week found two-thirds of Americans, including more than half of Republicans, think the government should do more on climate change. And a CBS News poll last fall found two-thirds think action is needed right now.
After Democrats regained control of the House of Representatives in the 2018 election, they created the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis to lead the way. Now, after a year and a half of work, the committee released a comprehensive report Tuesday aiming to chart the U.S. course toward solving this existential problem.
The Select Committee Democrats' Climate Crisis Action Plan is a 500-page guide with hundreds of policy recommendations for how the federal government can move forward.
The plan focuses on fusing climate solutions with economic growth and job creation, laying out 12 key pillars like investing in infrastructure, developing renewable energy, building resilience to climate impacts, and prioritizing environmental justice.
The chair of the committee, Representative Kathy Castor of Florida, told CBS News, "Climate solutions are economic solutions. Solving the climate crisis means putting Americans back to work in clean energy jobs that will grow our economy."
"The United States must harness the technological innovation of the moonshot, the creativity of our entrepreneurs, the strength of our workers, and the moral force of a nation endeavoring to establish justice for all," the report states.
The Climate Crisis Action Plan sets an ambitious goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. In a net-zero scenario, emissions are still produced, albeit in much lower quantities, but an equivalent amount is absorbed or removed so there is no overall increase in the amount of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
The nonpartisan think tank Energy Innovation analyzed a subset of the recommendations and found the measures would prevent 62,000 premature deaths annually by 2050 and provide $8 trillion in climate and health benefits by 2050.
Central to the plan are proposals to build cleaner electricity, transportation, construction and manufacturing sectors.
The plan calls for enacting a Clean Energy Standard to help with decarbonization, ensuring that the mix of fuel used by local utility companies to keep your lights on would be composed of more renewable energy sources like wind and solar. The plan would provide grants and incentives to help the process along, with the aim of achieving net-zero emissions in the electricity sector by 2040. The analysis by Energy Innovation estimates the Clean Energy Standard would create roughly 530,000 jobs annually.
The plan would set tougher emissions standards for cars and heavy-duty trucks — standards the Trump administration has watered down. The plan sets a goal of having all new cars be zero-emissions by 2035 and trucks by 2040, while building out the necessary infrastructure like charging stations.
The plan would incentivize local governments to adopt updated building codes to make existing structures more energy efficient. It aims for all new residential and commercial buildings to be net-zero emissions by 2030.