WASHINGTON - Today, Congressman Tom O'Halleran (AZ-01) joined members on both sides of the aisle in the House of Representatives to pass H.R. 4447, the Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act: a legislative package that takes concrete actions to work toward a clean energy economy, invests in updating American energy innovation infrastructure, creates new, good-paying jobs, and tackles the climate crisis.
The Expanding Access to Sustainable Energy (EASE) Act, legislation introduced by O'Halleran earlier this year and recently passed out of the House Energy and Commerce Committee unanimously, served as the lead bill for the larger package.
'The last major federal effort to address our changing energy landscape occurred in 2007. In this past decade we've seen both the tragedies of climate change and the wonders of new energy innovation,' said O'Halleran. 'It is long past time to take aggressive action to combat the climate crisis and bring our American energy economy into the 21st century. Building out from my bipartisan EASE Act, the Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act will do just that.'
WATCH O'Halleran speak in support of H.R. 4447 on this House Floor this morning, HERE.
The lead bill driving the Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act is O'Halleran's EASE Act, which establishes a program at the Department of Energy (DOE) to provide grants and technical assistance to rural electric cooperatives to assist with designing and demonstrating energy storage and microgrid projects. H.R. 4447 also includes O'Halleran's bipartisan Tribal Power Act, which increases funding for the DOE's Office of Indian Energy and requires the Secretary of Energy to assess electricity access in tribal communities and consult with tribal governments in the design and conduct of the study.
'This legislative package combines the work of over 40 critical pieces of energy and environment legislation from the House of Representatives, many of which are bipartisan, and hail from Members across our body and our nation, whose districts have felt the dire implications of climate change in every disparate way,' said O'Halleran on the House Floor. 'And the Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act does more than just update our nation's energy infrastructure-the new programs, initiatives, and federal projects laid out within this bill create tens of thousands of new, good-paying energy jobs that support a family.'
H.R. 4447 invests in electric grid modernization and security, increases the availability and affordability of renewable energy and storage technology, and makes targeted investments in the American energy workforce as our nation transition towards renewable energy by:
- creating and funding a DOE career skills program to train workers for the construction and installation of energy-efficient building technologies;
- streamlining available federal energy efficiency programs and financing to help improve efficiency and lower energy costs for schools;
- directing the Secretary of Energy to accelerate critical research, development, and demonstration programs to increase the availability of cutting-edge renewable energy and storage technologies to support increased power generation from solar, wind, geothermal, and hydropower resources; and
- allocating $15 million for grants for advanced and innovative technology-based solutions regarding optimal use of water, wastewater, water reuse systems, and energy, while directing the Secretary of Energy to establish an Energy-Water Advisory Committee.
Full bill text is available, HERE.
'Most important of all, the Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act takes concrete, aggressive action to address the climate crisis,' said O'Halleran. 'From larger, deadlier forest fires to crippling droughts, Arizonans know the real-life implications of our changing planet. That is why today's bill is so important. It addresses climate change by revitalizing our sagging energy economy and creates much-needed job growth in the process. I am humbled to serve as its sponsor.'