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September 23, 2020

Chairwoman Johnson Floor Statement on the Consideration of H.R. 4447, the Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act

(Washington, DC) – Today, Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) spoke on the House floor during consideration of H.R. 4447, the Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act. H.R. 4447 includes 16 bipartisan bills contributed by the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee. 

Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson’s (D-TX) floor statement is below.

The threat of climate change is one of the most urgent threats we face. Today, as I speak, vast portions of the west coast of our Nation are consumed with wildfires. To the South, our country has already been repeatedly pounded by tropical storms and hurricanes this year. Severe weather and dangerous heat waves are becoming increasingly commonplace. Coral reefs around the world are dying off, threatening whole ecosystems. And the ocean is becoming more acidic, which puts in peril an entire food chain vital to feeding humanity. The threat of climate change is here, and it is long past time for Congress to take action to combat it.

Responding to climate change is also an opportunity to reinvent our economy and propel it into the 21st century. We have the opportunity to make America the leader in a host of clean energy technologies that will boost our economy and bring good, high-paying jobs.

H.R. 4447, the Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act will do just that, by investing unprecedented amounts in clean energy research and development. This bill also makes long overdue investments in grid modernization and large-scale energy storage, which are key to allowing us to unlock the full potential of intermittent renewables and other clean energy investments.

Finally, this bill makes critical investments in carbon capture and storage technology. We have to recognize that today, as I speak, most of the energy used for electricity, transportation, and industrial processes in our Nation and across the world is still produced from fossil fuels. To realistically hope to combat the worst effects of climate change, we have to invest in technologies that can clean up the bulk of our current pollution sources, both here and abroad.

All of the 16 bills that the Science Committee contributed to this package were bipartisan pieces of legislation. This reflects the broad support these bills have in both the environmental and business community – having received support from groups as diverse as NRDC, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the League of Conservation Voters, and the National Association of Manufacturers.

I want to take a moment to thank both our current Energy Subcommittee Chair Lizzie Fletcher, and our former Chair Conor Lamb, for their hard work in getting us to this point today. I also want to thank my fellow committee chairs Frank Pallone and Raul Grijalva for their tireless work on H.R. 4447 and their commitment to fighting climate change.

H.R. 4447 will not, on its own, prevent climate change. But it is a vital first step in addressing this threat. If we don’t take that first step, we will never get anywhere in our efforts to address this growing crisis.

I urge my colleagues to support this bill and I reserve the balance of my time.