Schumer To President Trump: Any Infrastructure Package Considered In The New Congress Must Include Policies, Funding To Combat Climate Change & Transition To A Clean Energy EconomyDecember 7, 2018
In New Letter To President Trump, Leader Schumer Says Any Future Infrastructure Bill Should Provide Funding To Transition To A Clean Energy Economy & Mitigate Risks That U.S. Is Already Facing Due To Climate Change
Schumer Outlines A Number Of Ways To Address Climate Change In An Infrastructure Bill, Including Policies To Modernize The Electric Grid, Create Clean Energy Jobs, And Build More Resilient Communities
Schumer: Senate Democrats Expect Climate Policies in Any Infrastructure Bill
Washington, D.C. – Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer sent a letter today to President Trump telling him that Senate Democrats expect a number of policies to address climate change to be included in any future infrastructure bill. Schumer’s letter to the president provides a list of policies designed to combat climate change that can and should be included in any infrastructure package in the next Congress, including: modernizing the electric grid, investing in renewable energy, sewer, and water infrastructure, and building more resilient communities.
Schumer emphasized the importance of ensuring all projects built with public dollars enforce Davis-Bacon provisions to guarantee workers are paid prevailing wages; utilize project labor agreements (PLAs); be subject to “Buy America” standards; and include community benefits agreements, “local hire” and other provisions. The senator points out that the transition to clean energy is an opportunity to not only revitalize and modernize our infrastructure, but to create millions of new green jobs and provide economic opportunities while positioning the United States as a leader in clean energy innovation.
The letter comes on the heels of the recent release of the Trump administration’s Fourth National Climate Assessment Report, which outlines in great detail both the human and economic consequences the U.S. is already facing and will face in the near future if emissions are not dramatically reduced.
Leader Schumer’s letter to President Trump can be found here and below:
President Donald Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500
Dear President Trump:
In the wake of the administration’s release of the Fourth National Climate Assessment report and some of the most devastating wildfires and hurricanes the U.S. has ever seen, it is crucial that we immediately enact legislation to combat climate change and create millions of jobs. Therefore, any infrastructure package considered in 2019 must include policies and funding to transition to a clean energy economy and mitigate the risks that the United States is already facing due to climate change.
Climate change is real, caused by humans, and its impacts are already being felt in communities across the country. The administration’s recent National Climate Assessment report laid out in detail many of the risks of climate change, which will only worsen if we do not dramatically reduce emissions. If left unchecked, the damage caused by climate change will cause untold human suffering and significant damage to the U.S. economy.
Fortunately, there are steps we can take in an infrastructure package in the 116th Congress to combat climate change, modernize the electric grid, and build more resilient communities. Below are just a few of the policies that can and should be included in any infrastructure package in the next Congress:
- Provide permanent tax incentives for domestic production of clean electricity and storage, energy efficient homes and commercial buildings, electric vehicles, and modernizing the electric grid;
- Invest in both storage and transmission capacity to move renewable power around the country;
- Invest in smart grid and microgrid technology, and prepare the grid for more locally generated renewable energy;
- Invest in and save taxpayer dollars through energy efficiency upgrades for public buildings, schools, affordable housing, and other infrastructure;
- Substantially increase investments in research, development, and deployment of next-generation clean energy, energy efficiency, carbon reduction, and energy storage technologies;
- Invest in resilient transportation, water, waste, and sewer infrastructure;
- Provide funding to help communities reduce the vulnerability of their critical infrastructure to extreme weather and natural disasters;
- Establish a new resilient communities revolving loan fund for communities to invest in resilient infrastructure, including natural infrastructure solutions such as restored wetlands, floodplains, and other natural features that can mitigate property damage and loss of life;
- Invest in the natural environment, specifically in conservation, wildlife habitat, and deferred maintenance on our public lands, to power the robust outdoor economy and secure our shared natural heritage for future generations; and
- Significantly reduce the release of methane pollution as a by-product of domestic energy production.
Building a clean energy infrastructure across America to deal with climate change can create millions of new jobs, but we must also ensure this new workforce is protected. All projects built with public dollars must enforce Davis-Bacon provisions to guarantee workers are paid prevailing wages; utilize project labor agreements (PLAs); be subject to “Buy America” standards; and include community benefits agreements, “local hire” and other provisions. Green jobs must also be good jobs.
Climate change is an existential threat. Communities devastated by this year’s record-breaking wildfire season and last year’s record-breaking hurricane season have seen and felt the impacts of climate change firsthand. The impacts will continue to worsen if we do not take decisive and immediate action to transition to a 100-percent clean energy economy. The challenge is immense, but so is the opportunity to revitalize and modernize our infrastructure, create new jobs and economic opportunities, and position the United States as a leader in clean energy innovation. A single infrastructure bill will not solve our climate problem in its entirety, but it is an important first step
Charles E. Schumer United States Senator