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Shaheen, Hassan Introduce Legislation to Reduce Emissions and Bolster the Clean Energy Economy

(Washington, DC)  – Today, U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Maggie Hassan (D-NH) introduced the Clean Economy Act with Tom Carper (D-DE) and a number of other colleagues. The legislation will boost American competitiveness while putting the United States on a path to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. 

The world’s leading scientists have warned that humanity must limit global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of climate change. According to the United Nations’ annual Emissions Gap Report released last month, collective global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are not yet substantial enough to reach that temperature goal.

The Clean Economy Act heeds the call for bold climate action and at the same time promotes healthier frontline communities and fosters a growing economy that works for everyone. The Clean Economy Act directs the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to use existing authorities to put our country on a pathway to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by no later than 2050.

Any plan developed by the EPA must achieve rapid reductions at minimal costs, prioritize public health and support a strong labor workforce. EPA is also required to build upon existing state, local and private climate programs and set greenhouse gas emission reduction targets for 2025, 2030 and 2040. Other federal agencies would be required to do their part to help the nation meet the net-zero goal and help enhance America’s global competitiveness through investments in research and development, innovation and equitable access to worker training. 

“Americans are seeing the devastating effects of climate change each day. In New Hampshire, it’s hurting our wildlife, including our moose population and fisheries, and it’s influencing our fall foliage and maple production. Tackling this crisis requires swift and meaningful action, which is why I’m proud to introduce the Clean Economy Act with Senator Carper,” said Senator Shaheen. “By directing the EPA to use the tools it already has at its disposal to help create a clean energy economy and reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, our nation can take an important step forward towards achieving climate goals, creating jobs and staying globally competitive.”

“The Clean Economy Act takes bold steps to address the existential threat posed by climate change by implementing a plan to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050,” Senator Hassan said. “By drastically reducing our country’s greenhouse gas emissions, we are prioritizing public health and safety while also fostering economic growth.” 

This net-zero legislation is supported collectively by major environmental groups, business groups and organized labor, including the United Steelworkers, the League of Conservation Voters and the American Lung Association. For full text of the bill, click here. For a summary of the legislation and full list of supporters, click here.

Senator Shaheen has led efforts in the Senate to combat climate change. Shaheen introduced bipartisan legislation, which Senator Hassan cosponsored – the International Climate Change Accountability Act - that would prevent the President from using funds to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord. As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Shaheen traveled to Paris to participate in high-level discussions at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference that led to the international Paris Climate Accord. As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Shaheen has historically helped secure increased funding for several energy efficiency and renewable energy programs at the Department of Energy. Shaheen has also consistently spoken out in opposition to the President’s anti-environment agenda, and has fought his continued efforts to invalidate scientific evidence of climate change.  

In December, Shaheen also led a bipartisan group of Senators, including Senator Hassan, in a letter to Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, in support of the 25th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 25) and their commitment to global efforts to thwart climate change. That letter can be read here. 

Senator Hassan led a number of her colleagues, including Senator Shaheen, in introducing bipartisan legislation to support and expand programs such as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). Senator Hassan has also led bipartisan legislation to expand access to innovative clean energy storage technology and to help lower energy costs for families and reduce carbon emissions by reinstating and strengthening a tax credits for energy efficient home construction and upgrades.