The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Ashley Siefert Nunes at UCS,, 202-331-5666

New Bill Draft Acknowledges Transition to a Clean Energy Economy Needs to Start Now Based on Latest Science

Statement by Rob Cowin, Union of Concerned Scientists


Leaders on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce--including Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr., Rep. Bobby Rush and Rep. Paul Tonko--released a draft of the Climate Leadership and Environmental Action for our Nation's (CLEAN) Future Act today that commits to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions economywide by 2050. The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) welcomes Congress getting back to legislating on the climate emergency.

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

"Climate change is already affecting people around the country and the science shows we need to make swift, deep cuts in heat-trapping emissions across the economy to help limit its harmful impacts. Federal leadership on this important issue is urgently required and we can't waste any more time.

"While not comprehensive, the CLEAN Future Act is a thoughtful start to developing climate legislation that addresses the scale and scope of the problem. By using a combination of strategies and technologies we already know work, as well as new approaches, this proposal aims to empower states and the nation to achieve net-zero global warming emissions economywide by 2050.

"We're especially pleased to see a strong focus on environmental justice, workforce development, modernizing our electric grid and reducing emissions from the transportation sector, which is now our nation's biggest contributor to carbon emissions. UCS supports policies to increase vehicle electrification and reduce heat-trapping emissions from all cars and trucks and looks forward to working more closely with the committee on these topics.

"Finally, the legislation includes a national clean energy standard that could be transformational if designed well. A national clean energy standard must not increase our reliance on natural gas generation, as natural gas use economywide now contributes more to U.S. carbon emissions than coal. We will continue to work towards enacting legislation consistent with the science and that will provide a just and equitable transition to a clean energy economy."

The Union of Concerned Scientists is the leading science-based nonprofit working for a healthy environment and a safer world. UCS combines independent scientific research and citizen action to develop innovative, practical solutions and to secure responsible changes in government policy, corporate practices, and consumer choices.