Senate Democrats unveil resolution calling for carbon-free electric sector by 2035

Senate Democrats unveil resolution calling for carbon-free electric sector by 2035
© Greg Nash

Senate Democrats unveiled a resolution on Tuesday calling for a decarbonized electric sector by 2035 and put forward policies they argue can help reach that goal.

The measure, led by Sen. Martin HeinrichMartin Trevor HeinrichThis Thanksgiving, skip the political food fights and talk UFOs instead Degrees not debt will grow the economy Senators call for Smithsonian Latino, women's museums to be built on National Mall MORE (D-N.M.), says the goal should be achieved through mechanisms such as incentivizing deployment of electric heaters and ending fossil fuel subsidies.

President BidenJoe BidenSouth Africa health minister calls travel bans over new COVID variant 'unjustified' Biden attends tree lighting ceremony after day out in Nantucket Senior US diplomat visiting Southeast Asia to 'reaffirm' relations MORE has likewise called for a carbon-free power sector by 2035, and House Democrats also laid out this goal in legislation earlier this year.

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Heinrich said during a press conference Tuesday that he is introducing the plan as a resolution rather than a bill to become law because they want to “create the narrative” for now and put the policies in place at a later time.

“What we’re trying to do right here is create the narrative. That’s why this is a resolution about how this must be informing our decisions on infrastructure. And then, as we move forward, we’re going to be working ... to put the individual Lego blocks into the bigger picture,” Heinrich said.

“We need to figure out all of these friction points and use the jobs and infrastructure package to really be able to solve these friction points,” he said.

Specifically, the resolution calls for incentivizing residential and commercial deployment of battery storage, electric heat pumps, electric stoves, electric vehicle chargers and electric water heaters. 

It also calls for expanding transmission capacity between regions, “improving” permitting and leasing for zero-emissions electricity generation on public lands and offshore sites, and providing seed funding for a clean energy and sustainability accelerator.

The plan additionally aims to increase incentives for manufacturing electric appliances and creating funding mechanisms to make electrification projects more affordable for households. 

The resolution doesn’t specify how much money should be spent on such incentives and investments.