FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 15, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and Representatives Nanette Barragán (CA-44), CPC Chair Emeritus Raúl Grijalva (AZ-03), Jared Huffman (CA-02), CPC Deputy Whip Ro Khanna (CA-17), and CPC Whip Ilhan Omar (MN-05), issued the following statement in response to news of industry-led efforts to undercut the Build Back Better Act’s policies to reduce carbon emissions driving the climate crisis:
“The Build Back Better Act has rightfully been touted as the largest-ever federal investment in climate action. But to meet this moment, Congress needs to be concerned not only about quantity, but quality. If the Senate eliminates every mechanism in this bill designed to push polluters into a clean energy future, we simply will never get there — and that is unacceptable. Today, we urge the Senate to resist the fossil fuel industry’s efforts to remove basic guardrails on the tax credits for carbon sequestration.
“The House-passed version of Build Back Better requires fossil fuel emitting plants to store 75 percent or more of their carbon pollution — an eminently reasonable requirement, as the fossil fuel industry itself touts carbon capture’s ability to achieve a 90 percent sequestration rate. But now, special interest groups are pushing our Senate colleagues to remove the requirement altogether, and provide a no-strings-attached taxpayer handout to the biggest polluters. For Congress to pass such a policy — especially as the South and Midwest are still recovering from the latest climate change fueled disaster — would be an insult to basic tax fairness and to every member of our communities demanding environmental justice. It’s simple: a bill that aims to tackle climate change and rapidly decarbonize our economy cannot include gifts for polluters.
“President Biden has demonstrated leadership on the world stage in making the ambitious, yet necessary, commitment that the United States will halve its carbon emissions from 2005 levels by 2030. In order to meet that mandate, our colleagues must oppose any efforts to remove the limited guardrails that currently exist on carbon sequestration subsidies and protect our national effort to rapidly transition to solar, wind, and other renewable energies. As the Senate debates the Build Back Better Act, this House-passed legislation’s promise to address climate change at the scope of the crisis, and deliver on the President’s transformational vision, must not be weakened.”
The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) is made up of nearly 100 members standing up for progressive ideals in Washington and throughout the country. Since 1991, the CPC has advocated for progressive policies that prioritize working Americans over corporate interests, fight economic and social inequality, and advance civil liberties. The CPC champions progressive policy solutions like comprehensive immigration reform, good-paying jobs, fair trade, universal health care, debt-free college, climate action, and a just foreign policy. The caucus has been the leading voice calling for bold and sweeping solutions to the urgent crises facing this nation, including ending America’s broken for-profit health care system, raising the minimum wage, eliminating political corruption, bolstering labor protections for working families, and taking swift action to stop the warming of our planet.