October 3, 2019
Dear Senator McConnell and Senator Schumer:
We are writing to urge you to place legislation addressing energy and climate technology and innovation on the Senate’s fall legislative calendar.
Our diverse organizations recognize and agree that climate change is an important national priority that demands Congressional attention. While we may not agree on everything, we believe there is much common ground upon which all sides of the debate can come together to begin to address climate change, promote American technological leadership, and foster continued economic growth. In particular, there is a growing consensus that the development and commercialization of new technologies are an important factor that will determine how quickly and at what cost greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced.
Indeed, a bipartisan group of senators, led by the Energy and Natural Resources and Environment and Public Works Committees, has worked throughout the year to identify and advance practical legislative solutions to accelerate these breakthroughs and enable adoption of lower-emitting and more efficient technologies. Thanks to their leadership and commitment, a number of important bills with broad support are ready for full Senate consideration.
This momentum is encouraging, but as you know, the key hurdle to advancing these bills into law is facilitating their consideration on the Senate floor. Accordingly, we urge you to allocate floor time for a legislative package addressing these issues. Such a package could include the following bipartisan bills1:
- S. 383, the Utilizing Significant Emissions with Innovative Technologies (USE IT) Act, which would advance CO2 utilization and direct air capture research, permitting and development.
- S. 903, the Nuclear Energy Leadership Act (NELA), which would bolster America’s leadership in nuclear energy by facilitating the development of next- generation nuclear energy resources.
- S. 1201, the Enhancing Fossil Fuel Energy Carbon Technology (EFFECT) Act of 2019, which would authorize DOE to support the development of technologies that improve the efficiency, effectiveness, costs, and environmental performance of coal and natural gas use.
- S. 1602, the Better Energy Storage Technology (BEST) Act, which would increase R&D in battery storage technologies to strengthen the electric grid amid the integration of renewables.
- S. 1685, the Launching Energy Advancement and Development through Innovations for Natural Gas (LEADING) Act of 2019, which would accelerate DOE’s research and development of commercially-viable carbon capture technologies for natural gas-fired electric generation facilities.
- S. 2137, the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act, which would improve the energy efficiency of buildings, industries and manufacturers, and the federal government, delivering energy security and environmental benefits.
- S. 2300, the Clean Industrial Technology Act, which would establish an emissions-reduction technology program to reduce industrial sector greenhouse gas emissions.
** NOTE: while not every signatory organization supports every one of these bills, taken together they represent a significant opportunity to accelerate innovation in the energy sector.
While not an exhaustive list, we believe these bills would constitute a strong legislative foundation upon which to address some very critical technology challenges.
We stand with every American seeking a cleaner environment and stronger economy, and we know that by working together we can forge solutions that deliver on our responsibility to leave the world a better place for generations to come.
Much more will need to be done to meet the climate challenge. But the Senate now has a great opportunity to advance these goals, and we stand ready to work with you to ensure prompt passage of important climate and energy innovation legislation.
Air-Conditioning, Heating, & Refrigeration Institute
Alliance to Save Energy
American Chemistry Council
American Conservation Coalition
American Council for Capital Formation
American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy
Carbon Utilization Research Council
Center for Climate and Energy Solutions
Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions
Clean Air Task Force
Edison Electric Institute
Energy Storage Association
Federal Performance Contracting Coalition
Great Plains Institute
Information Technology and Innovation Foundation Lignite Energy Council
National Association of Manufacturers
National Hydropower Association
Nuclear Energy Institute
Portland Cement Association
The Aluminum Association
The Nature Conservancy
U.S. Chamber Global Energy Institute
U.S. Nuclear Industry Council
cc: All Members of the United States Senate