Congress Commits to Biggest Climate Action in US History

Statement by Johanna Chao Kreilick, President, Union of Concerned Scientists

Published Aug 12, 2022

WASHINGTON (August 12, 2022)—The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a bill that will make the largest investment in combatting climate change in U.S. history. The bill, which now goes to President Biden’s desk for signature, will clean up the electric grid, put cleaner vehicles on the road, reduce industry pollution and make energy use in homes and buildings cleaner and more energy efficient. It will also save people money at the pump and on electricity bills, create hundreds of thousands of U.S. manufacturing jobs, and enable farmers to be part of the climate solution.

Below is a statement by Johanna Chao Kreilick, the president of the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

“This bill is a game changer and reason for hope. We finally have a Congress that’s heeding the science on the severity of human-caused climate change and incentivizing the clean energy solutions that are supported by the vast majority of people in the United States.

“It’s extremely disappointing and alarming that despite the urgency to act, Republican lawmakers have largely refused to support critical climate policy.

“Combined with strong administrative and state actions, the bill helps position the U.S. to achieve its climate goal of reducing heat-trapping emissions 50 to 52 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. The U.S. emission reductions, along with other global action that this legislation should help spur, may give us a fighting chance of avoiding devastating levels of warming.

“The bill is not perfect. It contains some troubling provisions, including some that risk expanding fossil fuel extraction and use; and it doesn’t go far enough to remedy the myriad ways in which oil and gas companies are polluting low-income communities and communities of color. The critical foundation the bill provides must be built upon to ameliorate those impacts, deepen U.S. emission reductions and help communities become more resilient to climate change.”

For more information, see the blog post “A Bright Moment of Hope with Historic US Climate Bill,” by Dr. Rachel Cleetus, policy director of the Climate and Energy Program at UCS.