With Republicans controlling both the House and the Senate don’t expect it to pass anytime soon, but last month Democratic Representatives introduced the “100 by ’50 Act” to transition the US to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050. The legislation was previously introduced in the US Senate in April.
“To remain a global economic leader, we must invest in renewable energy technology and fully embrace a cleaner, carbon-free future,” said Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO), who led the introduction. “The ‘100 by ‘50 Act’ outlines practical steps the federal government can take to create good-paying jobs across the United States while protecting our planet and our health. The American people deserve to have clean air as well as uncontaminated water and the United States should be the 21st century renewable energy superpower. I’m proud to introduce this bill to advance 100 percent renewable energy nationally by investing in energy generation, transmission, and storage solutions of the future, rather than throwing taxpayer dollars into the past.”
The proposed legislation has seven core components that would allow the US to become completely renewably powered by the middle of this century. It would green the grid, electrify heating and transportation, ensure all have access to low-cost electricity—including low-income residents, ensure those in the fossil fuel industry can find gainful employment, end investments in fossil fuels, keep the US competitive and create a major new source of funding for renewable energy with climate bonds.
The legislation was introduced in the House by Reps. Polis, Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Jared Huffman (D-CA) and Pramila Jayapal (D-WA). It was previously introduced in the Senate by Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Edward Markey (D-MA) and Cory Booker (D-NJ).
“The world is being hit now with record-setting temperatures, more powerful and frequent extreme weather events, dying coral reefs, longer wildfire seasons destroying our farming and fishing industries and rural economies," Merkley said. “We are in a race against time and must must transition our fossil fuel economy to clean and renewable energy now. We have the world’s most innovative entrepreneurs and scientists. They’ve harnessed electricity, put a man on the moon, and cured disease—and they can get us to a completely clean and renewable nation, we just need a roadmap and a shared national commitment to get us there. The ‘100 by ‘50 Act’ is that roadmap. Starting at a local, grassroots level and working toward the bold and comprehensive national vision laid out in this legislation, now is the time to commit to 100% by 2050.”
“In Vermont and all over this country, we are seeing communities moving toward energy efficiency and we are seeing the price of renewable energy plummet,” Sanders said of the proposed legislation. “Our job is to think big, not small. We can win the war against climate change. We can win the war in transforming our energy system to 100 percent sustainable energy and put millions of people to work doing that. We can create a planet that will be healthy and habitable for our children. There is no issue more important.”
Environmental organizations widely supported the proposed legislation. “Transitioning to clean energy creates jobs, protects our health, and will avoid the worst impacts of climate change,” said League of Conservation Voters (LCV) president Gene Karpinski. “This is the type of legislation Congress should be advancing, not Trump’s agenda of putting polluters ahead of people's health and safety.”Tweet