Energy & Environment

Leftist green groups criticize Democratic plan to make US carbon neutral by 2050

Greg Nash

A coalition of left-wing environmental groups is criticizing an environmental plan from House Democrats, arguing it is not ambitious enough to combat climate change with needed speed. 

In a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the organizations blasted Democrats’ CLEAN Future Act as a “staggering failure of ambition and leadership.”

“The CLEAN Future Act completely ignores that warning, and instead pretends that an amorphously defined ‘net zero’ goal of 2050 is adequate. It is not,” the letter said. “For the sake of the American people, the planet and future generations, we call upon you to set a much higher standard now.”

The draft legislation would push the U.S. to become carbon neutral by 2050, including requiring 100 percent clean electricity and reducing emissions from the transportation sector by the same deadline. 

Under the proposal, power suppliers would have to obtain a specific amount of “clean energy credits,” which can also be purchased or traded. It would also require buildings and industry to use materials from more environmentally friendly sources and meet tighter building codes.

The coalition, however, knocked portions of the plan that dealt with credits, arguing that they “will concentrate pollution in our most vulnerable communities.”

The groups also said that the 2050 standard is not good enough, calling for global emissions to be cut by at least 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2030. 

Neither Pelosi’s office nor the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which is taking lead on the plan, immediately responded to The Hill’s request for comment on the letter. 

The letter was signed by groups including Friends of the Earth, the Center for Biological Diversity, Food and Water Action and two New Jersey-based chapters of the Sunrise Movement. 

This is not the first time that environmentalists have criticized House leadership in recent weeks. 

Green groups have also recently blasted the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement on trade, which Pelosi supported, for not doing enough to protect the environment. 

Tags carbon neutral Carbon neutrality Center for Biological Diversity CLEAN Future Act Climate change Friends of the Earth Nancy Pelosi
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