Press Release

Chair Castor, Committee Members Highlight U.S. Climate Action at COP26, Bolster Speaker's Congressional Delegation

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Washington, November 9, 2021 | comments

Chair Kathy Castor of the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis released the following statement on Tuesday after arriving in Glasgow, Scotland, for the 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, alongside Speaker Nancy Pelosi, other members of the Select Committee, and the rest of the Speaker's congressional delegation:

“The United States is increasing its commitment to clean energy and climate action - and we are sharing our plan with the world. It's such an honor to attend this historic climate summit alongside Speaker Pelosi, who has cemented her legacy as the most ambitious climate leader in the history of the House of Representatives,” said Chair Castor. “Thanks to the Speaker's leadership and tenacious vision, we are poised to pass nearly a trillion dollars in investments to start solving the climate crisis - the largest single investment in climate and clean energy in our history. And over the next few days, we will proudly join President Biden's team here in Glasgow to show the world that we're ready to partner on solutions and unleash the clean energy economy.”

The Select Committee Members on the delegation are:

  • Chair Kathy Castor (D-FL),
  • Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR)
  • Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-CA)
  • Congressman Jared Huffman (D-CA),
  • Congressman Mike Levin (D-CA),
  • Congressman Sean Casten (D-IL)
  • Congressman Joe Neguse (D-CO), and
  • Congresswoman Veronica Escobar (D-TX).

In Glasgow, the delegation will participate in bilateral meetings, panel discussions and other engagements with global leaders on top climate priorities, including the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, gender equity and public-private sector coordination on climate action.
 
“The climate crisis is the existential threat of our time, and America must continue to bring our boldest ambitions to the table to meet and beat our climate action goals,” said Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “Together with this outstanding, experienced and diverse delegation including Committee Chairs, Members of the House Select Committee on Climate Crisis and respected Members of Congress, I am honored to once again return to the United Nations Climate Change Conference to convey the strong commitment of the U.S. Congress in addressing this crisis and doing so in a way that puts justice and equity – particularly for indigenous communities – first.”
 
The Members will highlight the work done in Congress to help President Biden meet his goal of slashing emissions in half by 2030, including recent passage of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), as well as progress on moving forward with the Build Back Better Act. 

Chair Castor lauded the historic passage of the IIJA last week, saying: “With this vote, the House of Representatives has delivered a historic investment in America’s infrastructure. This bipartisan bill makes progress on recommendations in our Climate Crisis Action Plan and takes steps to strengthen the grid, support electric vehicles, advance environmental justice, and prepare communities for costly weather disasters. Now it’s time to finish the job by passing the Build Back Better Act.”

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act advances a number of priorities in the Select Committee’s Climate Crisis Action Plan, including:

  • New investments in Electric Grid Resilience and Expansion, including grid hardening ($5 billion), grid reliability and resilience research, development, and demonstration ($5 billion), a revolving loan fund to facilitate the construction of transmission lines ($2.5 billion), and the deployment of technologies to enhance grid flexibility ($3 billion). The IIJA also improves inter-state transmission siting so more Americans can access clean energy, creates a new Grid Deployment Authority to help build a resilient and clean electric grid, and increases the borrowing authority of the Bonneville Power Administration by $10 billion which could help build new transmission lines.
  • Historic investments in Transportation Infrastructure, including rail ($66 billion), transit ($39 billion), and a carbon reduction program to reduce transportation emissions ($6.4 billion).
  • Investing in our Children, including $7.5 billion for clean school buses and ferries, grants for energy efficiency, renewable energy, and clean vehicles at public schools ($500 million), and historic investments in broadband ($65 billion).
  • Investments in Environmental Justice (EJ) Communities, including historic funding for cleaning up legacy pollution ($21 billion), funding for Tribal Climate Resilience ($216 million), and a $1 billion program to reconnect EJ communities divided by highways.
  • Doubling down on Electric Vehicles (EV), including the largest Federal investment ever in EV charging ($7.5 billion), funding for the Low or No Emission Vehicle (“Low-No Bus”) program ($5.25 billion), and support for developing a U.S. battery processing industry and EV battery recycling ($6.3 billion). The IIJA also requires states to consider establishing rates that promote transportation electrification and affordable and equitable EV charging.
  • Reducing Emissions through Energy Efficiency, including by renewing the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program (EECBG) ($550 million), funding an energy efficiency revolving loan fund within the State Energy Program ($250 million), funding for the Department of Energy (DOE) to support implementation of updated building energy codes ($225 million), and enhanced funding for the Weatherization Assistance Program ($3.5 billion). The IIJA also requires states to consider promoting demand response to reduce electricity consumption during peak times.
  • Resilience to Climate-Fueled Disasters, including enhanced funding for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) coastal resilience programs ($1.5 billion), funding for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) program ($1 billion), $3.5 billion for FEMA Flood Mitigation Assistance, and $17 billion for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers including funding for ecosystem restoration and coastal resilience.
  • Reducing Wildfire Risk, including funding for hazardous fuels reduction, controlled burning, and community defense resources ($3.3 billion), ecosystem restoration on public and private lands ($2 billion), and burying power lines and building microgrids ($5 billion).
  • Critical Water Infrastructure investments, including funding for water storage, recycling, and desalination ($2.5 billion), environmental programs for Western water ($980 million), and funding for the Twenty-First Century Dams Act ($2.5 billion).
  • Clean Drinking Water for All, including the largest investment in clean drinking water in American history, including $23.4 billion for the Drinking Water and Clean Water State Revolving Funds (SRF), $15 billion to replace lead service lines, $10 billion to address dangerous PFAS chemicals, and $3.5 billion for Indian Health Service water and sewer infrastructure and resilience.

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