February 13, 2020
WASHINGTON–U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) joined 31 Democratic Senators to introduce legislation to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by no later than 2050. The Clean Economy Act heeds the call for bold climate action while boosting American competitiveness, emphasizing environmental justice and encouraging economic growth that works for everyone.
The world’s leading scientists have warned that humanity must limit global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of climate change. According to the United Nations 2019 Emissions Gap Report, global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are falling short—risking that current and future generations will pay the price of today’s inaction.
“The science could not be clearer: human-caused climate change is an existential threat to our planet and our children’s future – and New Mexico is in the bull’s eye,” said Udall, ranking Democrat on the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies. “Nearly 50 years ago, my father, Stewart Udall, sounded the alarm on human-caused environmental tragedies. Half a century later, we are running out of time to halt the greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change. The consequences of inaction are staggering for our economy and the natural world, and building our green economy is critical to ensuring that the United States continues to lead the global economy for years to come. This legislation is also fundamental to protect communities in New Mexico that live on the front lines of climate change and pollution. Passing this legislation is not only the right action, it is a necessary action.”
“The climate crisis often feels too great, too complex, and too difficult to fix. But the truth is, we already have the creativity, workforce, and technology to dramatically reduce carbon pollution. All we need is the political will to get it done,” said Heinrich. “That’s why we need to pass comprehensive legislation like the Clean Economy Act. I’m proud that New Mexico is leading the way in the clean energy transition with its own state-level policies that set a goal of 100 percent carbon-free power by 2045. We need to set the same types of ambitious and achievable targets at the federal level. As we move toward more clean power generation and a carbon-free economy, we can create thousands of new high-paying careers all across the country.”
The Clean Economy Act mandates the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other federal agencies use authorities and tools already available to them to rapidly achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions while fostering a stronger, fairer economy for all Americans.
The legislation requires EPA to develop plans based on a goal of achieving rapid reductions of greenhouse gases at minimal costs, prioritize public health, and support a strong labor workforce. EPA is also required to build upon existing state, local and private climate programs and set greenhouse gas emission reduction targets for 2025, 2030 and 2040. Other federal agencies would be required to do their part to help the nation meet the net-zero goal and help enhance America’s global competitiveness through investments in research and development, innovation and equitable access to worker training.
Cosponsors of the legislation also include Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Angus King (I-Maine), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore).
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