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CATF Statement on House Passage of the Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act

September 24, 2020

Today, the House passed HR. 4447, the Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act of 2020. Clean Air Task Force experts issued the following statements in response:

“Passing this package is one of the most impactful things that the House could have done this year to accelerate progress on energy innovation and increase our options for dealing with the climate crisis,” said Lindsey Griffith, Federal Policy Director for Clean Air Task Force. “From advancing work on engineered geothermal systems (EGS), to support for expansion of renewables and storage, to increasing building efficiency measures and implementing important reforms that will expand eligibility for the Department of Energy’s Loan Program Office – with all these innovations and more, the House today took a strong step in the right direction on giving us a fighting chance to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. We look forward to building on today’s accomplishment with passage of the American Energy Innovation Act of 2020, a strong, bipartisan energy package from the Senate.”

“About 75 percent of emissions reductions on the road to net-zero by mid-century are expected to come from technologies that are not yet mature, highlighting the indispensable role of innovation in decarbonization,” said Lee Beck, CCUS Policy Innovation Director at Clean Air Task Force. Carbon capture and removal to abate energy-intensive industries and draw down historical CO2 emissions form a keystone of tomorrow’s net-zero emissions economy. “There are more than 30 carbon capture projects planned in the US,” Beck continued. “The Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act builds on this success, providing more than $15B of investment for the demonstration and commercialization of carbon capture and carbon removal technologies. It also paves the way for the creation of a carbon management market through funding the expansion of geologic storage options for CO2. The investment enabled by this historic piece of energy innovation legislation has the potential to create high-paying jobs and future-proof industries. As other governments are moving ahead with carbon capture investments globally, the provisions in this bill will continue to cement US leadership in innovation.”

“Eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from heavy-duty transportation, heavy industry, and other sectors that cannot be readily electrified will require the mass-scale development and deployment of liquid and gaseous fuels that offer the benefits of oil and gas but carry none of the carbon,” said Mike Fowler, Director of Advanced Energy Technology for Clean Air Task Force. “The Clean Energy Jobs and Innovation Act of 2020 supports a shift to zero carbon fuels by promoting the production of hydrogen from renewable energy, nuclear energy, and natural gas reforming with carbon capture and storage, and by supporting the use of hydrogen to fuel vehicles, power generators, and industrial processes.”

“Nuclear energy has the potential to play a significant role in current and future decarbonization efforts, and the Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act contains several provisions that are important for the continued operation of existing nuclear power plants and the deployment of future advanced reactor technologies,” said Brett Rampal, Nuclear Team Manager at Clean Air Task Force.  “Today’s legislation authorizes billions of dollars over the next ten years for hybrid nuclear energy systems, university education and support programs, the versatile test reactor, advanced reactor demonstrations, and other efforts that can support continued and expanded use of nuclear technologies.  Additionally, this bill contains support for low dose radiation research and the development of fusion energy technology, both of which can have a potentially enormous impact in achieving a clean energy economy.”

“The climate crisis is here and accelerating, so reining in surging levels of potent methane pollution is a critical part of the solution,” said Sarah Smith, Director of Super Pollutants at Clean Air Task Force. “Clean Air Task Force welcomes passage of the Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act to reduce methane waste and flaring on federal lands. These sensible actions will conserve taxpayer resources and bring substantial climate and health benefits.”

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