New legislation would spend billions of dollars to protect public health and the environment
WASHINGTON – The U.S. House passed a major climate-focused appropriations bill today that moves the country forward on clean energy and transportation. The bill authorizes billions of dollars in spending that would help rebuild and modernize the United States. The money is intended to expand access to clean transportation, modernize the electric grid and energy supply infrastructure, and protect public health and the environment. Notably, the bill includes $2.25 billion for Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants; nearly $19 billion for transit; $1.4 billion for electric vehicle charging infrastructure; and a requirement that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issue a report on problems raised by the right-to-repair campaign. The Senate has yet to take up their version of the bill.
Experts from Environment America and U.S. PIRG issued the following statements.
Matt Casale, U.S. PIRG Environment Campaigns director, said:
“With this spending bill, the House is starting to put its money where its mouth is on climate. Every American knows we must do all we can to eliminate the pollution and practices that are warming the planet and changing our climate. We need to take immediate and concrete steps to stop the use of fossil fuels for energy and accelerate the transition to a transportation system that doesn’t pollute. We hope this appropriations bill today is just one more key step toward loosening the federal purse strings in order to solve this existential danger.”
Andrea McGimsey, Environment America’s senior director of Global Warming Solutions, said:
“The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program was first authorized under the leadership of President George W. Bush in the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Local leaders from both parties across the country have strongly supported it. The program, which is a key part of this appropriations bill, empowers counties and cities to implement climate solutions at the local level — from making government buildings more efficient to installing solar-powered charging stations. We applaud the House for funding these grants that will unleash innovation and the power of clean energy in communities across the country. Next up, we look forward to the Senate’s enthusiastic support.”
John Rumpler, Environment America’s senior director of Clean Water for America, said:
“We are grateful that today’s spending bill also included Rep. Jared Huffman’s amendment (No. 165) to protect Alaska’s Bristol Bay from the proposed Pebble Mine. The Bristol Bay watershed features vibrant wildlife, stunning wetlands and is home to the largest salmon run in the world. Congress should never allow this national treasure to face irreversible toxic ruin from reckless mining operations.”
Johanna Neumann, senior director of Environment America’s Campaign for 100% Renewable Energy said:
“With this allocation, the House helps lay the foundation of a clean energy future for America. This level of funding will help Americans from all walks of life reap the health and environmental benefits of clean energy and more efficient energy use.”
Nathan Proctor, U.S. PIRG’s Right to Repair Campaign director, said:
“Requiring the Federal Trade Commission to report on manufacturers repair restrictions is a win for consumers, the environment and our work to protect the right to repair. When the only way to fix something is to go back to the manufacturer, it can cost you an arm and a leg, and many times you get pressure to upgrade to a new product. The lack of repair choices wastes our money and fuels a completely unnecessary electronic waste crisis. It’s time the FTC did their job and stood up for consumers who just want to fix their stuff.”