McEachin set to introduce 100% clean economy bill

Source: By Nick Sobczyk, E&E News reporter • Posted: Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Rep. Donald McEachin (D-Va.) plans to introduce a sweeping bill to set emissions targets for the entire U.S. economy as soon as today, a messaging effort that Democrats hope will bolster their case for climate action heading into 2021.

The legislation, the “100% Clean Economy Act,” would set a national goal to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and direct federal agencies to develop plans to get there, McEachin said in an interview.

While it would not give the federal government any additional regulatory or tax authority to address emissions, it would create a Clean Economy Federal Advisory Committee to bring in experts to advise the process of slashing emissions.

“It sets the target and calls for intermediate steps to monitor where we are,” McEachin said.

Like the Green New Deal, lawmakers working on it, including Reps. Joe Neguse (D-Colo.), Debbie Dingell (D-Mich.) and Paul Tonko (D-N.Y.), envision the bill as a set of targets to be met with policy down the road.

But unlike the Green New Deal resolution, McEachin said he’s expecting to have more than 100 co-sponsors upon introduction.

McEachin and Dingell have both said they hope to get a House floor vote, at the very least, even if Democratic leadership has been reluctant to take up aggressive measures to address climate change so far this Congress.

“We might have a lot of bruises, like I do, but we’re going to get it done,” Dingell said at a Center for American Progress event last week (E&E Daily, Nov. 15).

A McEachin aide added that the “100% Clean Economy Act” is meant to compliment the work of Energy and Commerce Committee leaders on their own legislation to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 (E&E News PM, July 23).

“It’s been an honor for leadership to allow me to take the lead on a bill like this,” McEachin said. “Hopefully we’ll be able to get some bipartisan support.”