Environmental advocacy groups issued mixed responses Tuesday after Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee released the legislative text of a draft bill for a national climate plan, with critics charging that the proposal isn’t ambitious enough to address the planetary crisis.
“At a moment when we need bold, decisive action from Democrats in Congress in order to stand a chance of averting climate catastrophe, Rep. Pallone and the House Energy and Commerce Committee have come up far short. Simply put, this legislation is a ‘green new dud,’ not a Green New Deal.”
—Mitch Jones, Food & Water Action
The draft Climate Leadership and Environmental Action for our Nation (CLEAN) Future Act—largely seen as a “competing plan” to the Green New Deal—was announced earlier this month by the committee’s chair, Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.). Crafted after 15 committee hearings, the bill (pdf) aims to ensure that the United States achieves net-zero greenhouse gas pollution by 2050.
In a joint statement with Reps. Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.) and Bobby Rush (D-Ill.), Pallone said Tuesday that “every day, communities across the country are paying the price for inaction through record wildfires, flooding, and drought, and Congress cannot afford to simply watch from the sidelines.”
“The CLEAN Future Act treats this climate crisis like the emergency that it is, while also setting the foundation for strengthening our economy and creating good paying jobs for a clean and climate-resilient future,” they added. “We look forward to continuing to work with all impacted stakeholders on this proposal in the coming months.”
Food & Water Action policy director Mitch Jones was quick to provide critical feedback with a statement of his own Tuesday.
“At a moment when we need bold, decisive action from Democrats in Congress in order to stand a chance of averting climate catastrophe, Rep. Pallone and the House Energy and Commerce Committee have come up far short,” he said. “Simply put, this legislation is a ‘green new dud,’ not a Green New Deal.”
Detailing some of the ways in which the CLEAN Future Act falls short of adequately addressing the crisis, Jones added:
The committee’s release of the legislative text came just a day after Friends of the Earth U.S. and the Partnership for Policy Integrity published an analysis detailing the “dirty secrets” of the proposal based on the information about the plan that had been publicized up until that point.
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