Dear Majority Leader Schumer and Republican Leader McConnell:
Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions (CRES) has long advocated for commonsense infrastructure legislation that works for all Americans; therefore, we applaud your work and commitment to bipartisanship in the creation of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). We particularly applaud the bill’s inclusion of clean energy provisions, which will accelerate American-led innovation, continue fast-paced job growth, reduce pollution, and strengthen our position leading the world in greenhouse gas emissions reductions.
In June, I wrote to you on behalf of CRES advocating for specific proposals to be included in any final infrastructure package. CRES is encouraged the IIJA includes many of those policies we championed and advances smart, bipartisan energy policy in the following areas:
- Investments in Energy Innovation – The legislation builds upon the bipartisan Energy Act of 2020, passed in the 116th Congress, providing robust funding for cutting-edge pilot and demonstration projects in hydrogen, advanced nuclear, geothermal, hydropower, energy storage, wind, solar, and energy efficiency technologies, among others. This targeted funding opens the door for further public private partnership, helps spur additional private sector investment, and proves and commercializes promising technologies to benefit the U.S. for years to come.
- Consequential Federal Permitting Reform – The bill cuts through bureaucratic red tape by making permanent FAST-41 permitting improvements by setting a goal to permit in two years some of the largest, most complicated infrastructure projects, including energy infrastructure. It also codifies the One Federal Decision rule, which will reduce the overall timeframe for certain infrastructure projects to be reviewed and permitted. New infrastructure investment should be paired with efforts to streamline necessary reviews, and the bill reflects this priority.
- Alternative Fuel Vehicle Infrastructure – The bill lays the groundwork for further adoption of electric and alternative vehicles by building out the necessary charging and fueling infrastructure across our nation. It will help strategically design the necessary components for the adoption of electric, hydrogen, propane, and natural gas vehicles.
- Clean Energy Supply Chains – The bill both makes investments and leverages federal financing to secure the critical mineral and material supply chains needed to provide domestically produced energy. It also directs federal agencies to conduct efficient reviews and make timely permitting decisions for critical mineral development on federal lands. These provisions will reduce U.S. dependence on China for the production and processing of these materials, which are essential for clean energy and transportation infrastructure. American-mined resources and American-made technologies will bolster our national security and economy.
- Carbon Capture, Utilization, & Storage (CCUS) and Direct Air Capture – The bill includes transformative investments in large-scale CCUS pilot and demonstration projects as well as direct air capture, which are promising technologies to decarbonize existing power plants and industrial facilities. Demonstrating commercial viability will make a real difference to reduce emissions, show U.S. leadership, and create additional good-paying American jobs.
- Supports U.S. Industrial Efficient Manufacturing – The bill provides significant research and development funding for cutting-edge projects to further demonstrate a to reduction ine industrial emissions, one of the most difficult sectors to decarbonize. In addition, it directs funding to states to invest in smart manufacturing technologies, creates a private-public partnership program, and offers technical assessments to U.S. manufacturers. These provisions will help find cost-effective ways for industrial stakeholders to adopt lower-emission technologies while maintaining business competitiveness.
- Improving U.S. Electric Power Infrastructure – The bill makes critical investments to upgrade transmission assets and improve the grid’s resiliency, flexibility, and cybersecurity. The bill also supports investments to integrate renewables, improve grid reliability, and better mitigate the impact of extreme weather events and natural disasters. Grid modernization will accelerate the adoption of cleaner forms of energy, and more importantly, enhance reliability and resilience.
CRES welcomes the inclusion of these provisions, among others mentioned in our June letter, which will provide a solid foundation for fostering innovative technologies across the energy spectrum, and importantly, provide essential support for America’s private sector to maintain global leadership for the foreseeable future. We will continue to advocate for commonsense solutions to meet our climate challenges.
CRES urges the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives to pass the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and unlock the many benefits of continued American energy leadership and innovation.