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Democrats continue to push for revised Better Rebuilding Act
With the window for action rapidly closing on a revised reconciliation bill to meet Democratic climate and social policy goals, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) continued negotiations behind closed doors on what a smaller version of the failed Build Back Better Act (BBB) might look like. Indeed, any reconciliation bill should be passed before the end of the current fiscal year on September 30, but there are few legislative days on the calendar with the approach of the August holidays and the campaign season. ahead of the midterm elections in November.
As these negotiations continue, the co-chairs of the House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC), representatives Paul Tonko (D-NY), Gerry Connolly (D-VA) and Doris Matsui (D-CA), as well as the New Democrat Coalition (NDC) Chair, Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-WA), and Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) Chair, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), sent a letter to President Biden l ‘urging to reach agreement with Congress on a revised reconciliation package that includes climate investments previously approved by the House of Representatives. The letter was signed by 175 Democratic members of the House of Representatives. Click on HERE to read the letter.
House Letter to SEC on Climate Risk Disclosure
A total of 131 House Democrats, led by the chair of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL) and Rep. Sean Casten (D-IL), wrote to Gary Gensler , chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, urging him to finalize his climate risk disclosure rule to better inform investors about how climate change may affect a company’s business, operations or financial condition .
The letter asks the SEC to finalize a rule that would require companies to disclose information about their corporate climate risk governance and relevant risk management processes; how climate-related risks may affect the registrant’s strategy, business model and outlook; and the impacts of climate-related events, such as severe weather, and transition activities on the registrant’s consolidated financial statements, as well as the estimates and assumptions used in those statements. The letter also calls for specific climate-related measures to be required in a company’s disclosures, including physical risks and risk reduction goals; Scope 1-3 greenhouse gas emissions and any clean energy and emission reduction goals; and performance against these objectives.
To read the letter, please click HERE.
New energy and sustainability legislation
India Clean Energy and Climate Cooperation Prioritization Act (HR 8088) establish the U.S.-India 2030 Climate and Clean Energy Partnership, encourage U.S.-India partnerships in research and innovation for clean energy technologies, and require the U.S. Agency for International Development to cooperate with the Government of India to mainstream climate change risk reduction and resilience strategies in India. The bill was introduced by Representatives Scott Peters (D-CA) and Ami Bera (D-CA) and accompanies legislation introduced in the Senate last year by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ).
Weather Improvement and Preparedness Act (HR 7947) aims to reduce energy costs for families and improve access to the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP). The bill would increase the statutory average cost per unit from $6,000 to $12,000; establish a weather preparedness program to address structural, plumbing, roofing, and electrical issues and environmental hazards with dwellings unable to receive effective WAP assistance; authorizing $90 million per year through fiscal year 2027 for the Weather Preparedness Program; and make other minor and clarifying changes to the WAP. The bill was introduced by Representatives Paul Tonko (D-NY), Bobby Rush (D-IL) and Marcy Kaptur (D-OH).
White House launches federal-state partnership to implement offshore wind
Working with 11 East Coast governors, the Biden administration in June launched a new Federal-State Offshore Wind Implementation Partnership aimed at accelerating the growth of the offshore wind industry. As part of the announcement, the White House and governors unveiled commitments to collaborate on the offshore wind supply chain, advance a national offshore wind supply roadmap, and designate offshore wind vessels. as “vessels of national interest” to further facilitate offshore wind construction. . The partnership is a joint effort of the White House National Climate Advisor, Secretaries of the Interior, Energy, Commerce and Transportation and the Governors of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. President Biden has set a goal of reaching 30 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030. To learn more about the partnership, click HERE.
DOE finds that jobs in the energy sector exceed overall jobs in growth
The US Department of Energy (DOE) released the 2022 U.S. Energy and Jobs Report covering five major energy sectors: electric power generation, transport, distribution and storage, fuels, energy efficiency and motor vehicles. The DOE finds that in 2021, as the economy began to recover from the pandemic, “energy sector jobs increased 4.0% from 2020, outpacing overall employment in the states. United States, which climbed 2.8% over the same period. According to the report, “the energy sector created over 300,000 jobs, growing from 7.5 million total energy jobs in 2020 to over 7.8 million in 2021.”
- Jobs related to electric vehicles increased by 26.2%, with the addition of 21,961 new jobs
- Jobs related to hybrid electric vehicles increased by 19.7%, with the addition of 23,577 new jobs
- Solar jobs grew 5.4%, adding 17,212 new jobs
- Wind energy jobs increased by 2.9%, with the addition of 3,347 new jobs
- Energy efficiency jobs increased by 2.7%, adding 57,741 new jobs
- Jobs in transmission, distribution and storage increased by 1.9%, with the addition of 22,779 new jobs
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