Carper, Coons Introduce Legislation that Paves Way to Cleaner Energy Future and Economy

Comprehensive proposal creates pathway toward greater U.S. energy independence

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Tom Carper, Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Safety, and Chris Coons (both D-Del.) joined Energy and Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and a group of Senate Democrats to introduce the American Energy Innovation Act of 2015. The national energy bill lays out a vision for a cleaner energy future by focusing on the need for new jobs, updated infrastructure and technological innovation. 

“I have long advocated for common-sense measures that reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, improve air quality and stem the tide of climate change,” said Senator Carper. “Congress has a critical responsibility to enact the thoughtful, comprehensive energy policy that our nation badly needs, and that’s why I have partnered with Senator Coons and many of our colleagues to introduce this proposal. We’ve set forward a public policy blueprint that will encourage investment in new, clean technologies, will create hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobs, and help individual Americans play a greater role in managing their carbon footprint.” 

‘‘Providing access to clean, affordable energy and addressing climate change are two of the greatest challenges facing our country and the entire planet, and this legislation builds on a wide range of ideas and solutions to meet those challenges head on,” said Senator Coons.  “In Delaware, we’re already witnessing the impacts of climate change, and from supporting clean energy technology and energy efficiency programs to investing in research and development, this legislation sends a clear statement that the United States plans to lead in a 21st Century that will be defined by our responses to the changing climate.” 

The American Energy Innovation Act of 2015 includes programs essential to economic growth in the energy sector that empower consumers, modernize infrastructure, cut carbon pollution and waste, invest in clean energy, and support research and development.

Provisions included in the bill would: 

  • Prepare a new generation of skilled workers for a 21st century energy workforce through job training and model energy workforce curriculum;
  • Triple funding for basic energy science and technology research, to maintain global leadership and to invest in the next generation of clean energy technologies that we can export internationally;
  • Permanently reauthorize and fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund;
  • Cut greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to all passenger vehicles and a third of U.S. homes and secure carbon reduction targets from other countries;
  • Advance policies that give consumers access to their electricity data; 
  • Create a federal Energy Efficiency Resource Standard, which would save consumers $150 billion over the next 15 years, and support research and development on smart buildings; 
  • Invest in energy storage, integrate clean energy onto the grid, improve the security of the grid and help manage electricity demand; 
  • Implement recommendations from the Quadrennial Energy Review to improve the resilience of the U.S. electric grid, natural gas distribution system and the Strategic Petroleum Reserve;
  • Offer technical assistance to small and medium manufacturers to implement smart manufacturing technologies and expands the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Program to include trucks; and
  • Invest in clean energy technologies and repeal subsidies for fossil fuels.