New Democrat Coalition Continues Leadership on Climate Change

March 12, 2020
Press Release
New Dems endorse second slate of climate change bills

Washington, DC Today, the New Democrat Coalition (NDC), led by NDC Chair Derek Kilmer, NDC Vice Chair Scott Peters, and NDC Climate Change Task Force Co-Chairs Don Beyer, Sean Casten, Elaine Luria, and Susan Wild, endorsed an additional slate of bills. This package of bills presents forward-looking, politically durable solutions. With these endorsements, the NDC continues its leadership on climate change with a robust legislative agenda that builds on the NDC Priorities for U.S. Climate Policy and initial slate of bill endorsements released earlier this Congress.

The NDC is committed to addressing climate change with the urgency the crisis demands by leveraging every decarbonization solution available to advance a swift and just transition to a more sustainable planet and economy. Through this endorsement, the NDC will work to advance the following bills:

  • Rep. Suzan DelBene’s H.Res. 828 – The Resolution on the Environmental Goods Agreement
    • This resolution would direct the Trump Administration to restart and conclude negotiations on the Environmental Goods Agreement initiated in 2014 by fourteen World Trade Organization members, including the United States, with the goal of removing tariffs on key environmental goods like wind turbines, water treatment filters, solar water heaters, and bicycles.
  • Rep. Sean Casten’s H.R. 3623 – The Climate Risk Disclosure Act
    • This bill will require public companies to disclose information relating to the financial and business risks associated with climate change. The Securities and Exchange Commission is required to establish, in consultation with other relevant federal agencies, climate-related risk disclosure metrics and guidance.
  • Rep. Bill Foster’s H.R. 2986 – The Better Energy Storage Technology (BEST) Act
    • This bill will direct the Department of Energy to establish a research, development, and deployment program to make progress towards developing cost-effective sustainable energy storage systems.
  • Rep. Julia Brownley’s H.R. 2164 – The Green Bus Act
    • This bill will expand several of the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) clean bus programs and authorize $150 million for the Low-No grant program in fiscal year 2020 with an annual $50 million increase until reaching $600 million in fiscal year 2020. It also requires all new buses purchased with FTA funds be zero-emission beginning on October 1, 2029.
  • Rep. Ben McAdams’ H.R. 3597 – The Solar Energy Research and Development Act
    • This bill would reauthorize a Department of Energy program for research, development and demonstration of a range of solar energy technologies.
  • Reps. Paul Tonko & Scott Peters’ H.R. 5544 – The American Innovation and Manufacturing Leadership Act
    • Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) are chemicals used in heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration. This bill will phase down HFC production and use over 15 years and will provide an orderly shift to next generation technologies, allowing exceptions for essential uses where no substitute is available.
  • Rep. Donald McEachin’s H.R. 5221 – The 100% Clean Economy Act
    • This bill will establish requirements to reduce greenhouse gas pollution. Specifically, the bill sets a national goal of achieving a 100% clean economy by no later than 2050. Each federal agency must develop and implement a plan to rapidly achieve the national goal.
  • Rep. Derek Kilmer’s H.R. 2718 – The P3 Act
    • This bill would create a new category of tax-exempt Private Activity Bonds (PABs), which state and local governments can use to finance projects completed by private entities that serve a public benefit – including green infrastructure. The legislation would help communities and businesses do their part to slow, filter, and catch stormwater, the leading cause of pollution in Puget Sound and watersheds nationwide.
  • Rep. Greg Stanton’s H.R. 2088 – To amend the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 to reauthorize the Energy Efficiency Conservation Block Grant Program
    • This bill will reauthorize and increase funding for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program, which provides grants to state, local governments, and tribes to assist efforts to reduce fossil fuel emissions and conserve energy. The bill reauthorizes the program and provides it with $3.5 billion annually for the next five years.
  • Rep. Harley Rouda’s H.R. 1317 – Coastal Communities Adaptation Act
    • This bill will authorize grant funding for coastal communities that need to adapt to a changing climate. The bill would also jumpstart research at the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) into improved buildings and structures that account for extreme weather.
  • Rep. Annie Kuster’s H.R. 5514 – The Community Energy Savings Program Act
    • This bill will finance energy efficiency and renewable energy projects through the existing Department of Energy’s State Energy Program. The bill provides multiple financing options to consumers, public utilities and local government to advance larger-scale clean energy projects. This bill ensures that the Department of Energy can provide technical assistance to support the deployment of these clean energy programs.

“The climate crisis is real and demands bold action. This slate of bills is another step to address the effects of climate change,” said NDC Chair Derek Kilmer (WA-06). “The federal government should continue to explore and use all available tools to protect our environment, minimize the impacts of climate change, and help the country successfully transition to a climate-forward economy. I am proud that the NDC is leading the way to combat climate change.”

“The climate crisis touches every aspect of our lives and combatting it requires swift, strong, pragmatic solutions,” said NDC Vice Chair Scott Peters (CA-52). “The bills we’re endorsing today confront climate change through achievable policies that will help us transition to a more sustainable economy and planet. I’m pleased to support the work of my colleagues in the New Democrat Coalition as we address the urgent climate crisis and simultaneously support American workers and communities.”

“With our second slate of climate bill endorsements, the New Democrat Coalition is continuing our focus on addressing climate change by supporting legislation in additional, important areas, including green infrastructure,” said NDC Climate Change Task Force Co-Chair Don Beyer (VA-08). “Our approach would harness the balanced powers of the government and markets to make progress on the one of the greatest threats to future generations in ways that can achieve support across a wide political spectrum. I especially appreciate the leadership of Chairwoman Castor and her colleagues on the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis for working with us as we develop this legislation and considering these ideas as the Committee develops its report.”

“As a Co-Chair of the New Democrat Coalition’s Climate Task Force, I am proud to put forth a bold, pro-market solution in order to combat the climate crisis. This package includes my bill, H.R. 3623 the Climate Risk Disclosure Act, which would require public companies to disclose climate-related financial risks, helping to protect our economy from the impacts of climate change. All of these measures in the package are critical to reduce carbon emissions, transition our economy away from fossil fuels, and ultimately save our planet,” said Rep. Sean Casten (IL-06), NDC Climate Task Force Co-Chair.

“In Coastal Virginia, our communities are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, including sea-level rise and recurrent flooding,” said NDC Climate Task Force Co-Chair Rep. Elaine Luria (VA-02). “To ensure infrastructure resiliency for military communities like mine, we must explore options that are both bold and achievable. Today I join my colleagues in the New Democrat Coalition in endorsing this package of bills that provides tangible solutions to help tackle the threat that climate change poses to our economy, environment, and national security.”

“Climate change does not just impact one community -- it is a global crisis that will have catastrophic consequences both at home in the Pennsylvania 7th and all across the world. Climate change demands tangible and effective solutions in order for our children and their children to thrive. For this reason, I am proud to be a Co-Chair of the New Democrat Coalition’s Climate Task Force, and to endorse this slate of bills that will work to address the climate crisis through bold strokes and achievable measures,” said NDC Climate Change Task Force Co-Chair Susan Wild (PA-07).

These endorsements advance two key components of the NDC’s 20 for 2020 Policy Agenda, the “Lead Global Climate Action” and “Transition to a Climate-Forward Economy” priorities, by reclaiming the nation’s position as a leader in the fight against climate change, promoting innovation and the deployment of climate-forward technologies and energy efficiency in the American economy, and by fostering community adaptation and resilience. Read the NDC’s Priorities for U.S. Climate Policy, one pager, and the full list of New Dem-endorsed climate change bills from the 116th Congress.

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The New Democrat Coalition is comprised of 104 forward-thinking Democrats who are committed to pro-economic growth, pro-innovation, and fiscally responsible policies.