Commentary: Today, Assistant Speaker Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.) joined the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis to unveil a comprehensive Climate Crisis Action Plan to address climate change and put the nation on a path toward net-zero carbon pollution by 2050 or sooner. The climate action framework includes vital provisions to build a clean energy economy and a healthy, just America.
As a member of the Select Committee, Assistant Speaker Luján secured measures to support our National Laboratories that are on the front line of developing cutting-edge technologies and protecting our nation. Specifically, the framework empowers the Department of Energy to prioritize addressing climate change, maintaining America’s leadership in clean energy innovation, and engaging in environmental justice communities.
“I was proud to announce the Climate Crisis Action Plan alongside House Democrats to act on climate, protect our future, and create green jobs. While Democrats are addressing this crisis, President Trump is sowing division and rolling back the progress we’ve made. 2020 is on track to being the warmest year on record, which could cause serious natural disasters across New Mexico and the nation,” said Assistant Speaker Luján. “Our health, our economy, and our future are all at stake. We must combat this crisis while putting Americans hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic back to work.”
“House Democrats recognize that we have the moral imperative to meet this moment with a bold climate action plan to reduce carbon pollution, create much-needed jobs to rebuild our economy, and tackle the systemic injustice of environmental racism head-on,” said Rep. Kathy Castor, Chair of the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis.
Key provisions that Assistant Speaker Luján secured in the climate action framework include:
- Establishing a Clean Energy Standard to put America on a path to net-zero carbon emissions;
- Protecting our environment and putting New Mexicans back to work by plugging abandoned oil and gas wells;
- Supporting the growth of solar energy by making community solar more accessible to lower-income communities;
- Leveraging our world-class innovation system to address the challenges of deep decarbonization and climate resilience by creating a foundation at the Department of Energy that would channel private-sector investments and accelerate the commercialization of innovative technologies in energy;
- Strengthening the Department of Energy’s Lab-Embedded Entrepreneurship Program, which utilizes national laboratories to train and develop the next generation of tech entrepreneurs to meet the broader challenges and needs facing our communities;
- Creating a small business voucher program to allow small businesses to gain access to premier facilities at the national labs, spurring innovation and stimulating the culture of private-public collaboration.
The Select Committee’s climate action framework outlines ambitious and achievable policies to:
- Grow our economy and put Americans back to work in clean energy jobs;
- Protect the health of all families;
- Make sure our communities and farmers can withstand the impacts of climate change;
- Protect America’s land and water for the next generation.
The full Select Committee report is viewable here.