WASHINGTON, August 23, 2021 – Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions (CRES) today called on U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to swiftly bring to the House floor the freestanding bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), which passed the U.S. Senate in July with strong bipartisan support. So far, the Speaker has insisted that the House will not consider the bipartisan, Senate-passed bill unless a much larger, hyper-partisan spending package first passes the House and the Senate through a process called reconciliation to avoid a Senate filibuster. Details of the reconciliation package have yet to be disclosed.
“When nearly three quarters of the Senate can come together to build bipartisan consensus, Americans take note—and so should Speaker Pelosi,” said CRES Executive Director Heather Reams. “I strongly urge Speaker Pelosi to allow the House to pass the bipartisan IIJA right now, and not play political games with the new investments and good-paying jobs included in the legislation. By passing the bipartisan bill without delay, America can finally start catching up on long-delayed investments in modernizing and protecting our roads, bridges, power grids, water, waste, energy and investments in broadband.”
“CRES polling found that 74% of Americans, including 59% of Republicans, support increased government action to boost clean energy infrastructure development,” Reams continued. “Speaker Pelosi should not allow far-left members in her party to hold this commonsense legislation as a political bargaining chip in the pursuit of her party’s extreme partisan agenda. It would be a waste of admirable and difficult bipartisan work in the Senate, and huge loss for all Americans—who are expecting Washington to work together to pass bipartisan legislation like the IIJA.”
“We hope that Speaker Pelosi does the right thing and allows our Representatives to vote this month on the bipartisan bill – completely unattached to her big spend reconciliation package – to restore America’s infrastructure and faith in our legislative process,” Reams concluded, “America deserves an honest fix to our crumbling infrastructure, free from partisan machinations and maneuvering. Speaker Pelosi: call a freestanding vote on the IIJA now.”
CRES has long advocated for bipartisan infrastructure legislation that works for all Americans. In February we engaged with the American public through a campaign titled, “Let’s Invest in US,” to encourage Americans to have an active voice in shaping infrastructure legislation that will directly impact their lives. In June, and again in August, we wrote to Congressional leaders to advocate for specific clean energy provisions in any infrastructure legislation, many of which were included in the final bipartisan Senate package:
- 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 funding for cutting-edge projects to further demonstrate a reduction in 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 has stated these provisions will accelerate American-led innovation, continue fast-paced job growth, reduce pollution, and strengthen our position leading the world in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions (CRES) engages Republican policymakers and the public about responsible, conservative solutions to address our nation’s energy, economic, and environmental security while increasing America’s competitive edge. For more information, visit www.cresenergy.com.