National Clean Energy Standard Is a ‘Down-Payment’ on Congressional Climate Action

Statement by Rob Cowin, Union of Concerned Scientists

Published May 8, 2019

WASHINGTON (May 8, 2019)—Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minn.) and Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) introduced a bill today that would decarbonize the electricity sector by mid-century, reflecting the scale and urgency of the climate crisis.

Below is a statement by Rob Cowin, director of government affairs for the Climate and Energy program at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

“A well-designed national clean energy standard could be the game changer we need to cut power sector carbon emissions. This legislation would serve as an important down-payment toward our climate goals by accelerating the clean energy momentum already underway across the nation.

“We cannot afford any further delay by Congress in taking serious action to address climate change. This policy would speed up the deployment of renewable technologies like wind and solar—by far the lowest cost clean electricity—while also leveling the playing field for all low and zero-carbon technologies and helping to preserve our existing carbon-free nuclear capacity, provided plants meet strong safety standards.        

“The U.S. needs a suite of strong policies to cut carbon emissions in every sector. In order to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, Congress must enact bold solutions that significantly bend the emissions curve downward across the entire economy over the next decade. The Clean Energy Standard Act would make a significant contribution towards that goal. Policymakers must also create pathways for equitable access to clean energy and the clean technology jobs of the future.”