Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), along with Senator Edward J. Markey (D-MA) and Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ), have introduced landmark climate legislation that would transition the United States to 100% clean and renewable energy by no later than 2050.
The “100 by ’50 Act” lays out a roadmap for a transition to 100% clean and renewable energy by 2050. It is the first bill introduced in Congress that will fully envision a transition off of fossil fuels for the U.S.
“It is no longer a question of if we can power our country with 100% renewable energy, it is a question of when,” said Markey. “We know that we have 100% of the clean energy resource potential in the United States. And we have 100% of the technological capability to achieve this goal. As President Trump launches attacks on investments in climate science and energy innovation, now, more than ever, we need to stand up and fight for our clean energy future.”
“We are in a race against climate change and need to reduce our carbon emissions as quickly as possible,” added Booker. “This legislation creates a framework for a transition to a 100% clean and renewable energy future, while also providing resources to ensure that all of our communities share in the opportunities that will be created.”
The 100 by ’50 Act has seven core components driving the complete transition to 100 by ’50:
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 by ’50, 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 growth 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 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 by ’50 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% plans and jump-start the transition.
“The “100 by ’50 Act” begins to lay the foundation for moving our most vulnerable communities from ‘Surviving to Thriving,'” said Mustafa Ali, Senior VP for the Hip Hop Caucus. “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.”
Ali added: “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.”
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