Dear Leader Schumer:
Thank you for your letter of March 13 regarding S.J. Res. 9. The Chamber shares your view that Congress should take steps to address climate change. We believe there is much common ground on which all sides of this discussion could craft real solutions. The proposed resolution, however, does not offer any concrete steps to address climate change, which is why we believe Congress’s time would be better spent considering meaningful policy initiatives.
The Chamber supports a number of near-term actions on which there is sufficient consensus—such as technology and innovation—on which Congress could act. Specifically, the Chamber encourages you and your colleagues to take up legislation with the goal of:
- Improving energy efficiency by enacting the provisions of the bipartisan Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act;
- Supporting greater utilization of carbon sequestration by:
- Enacting the bipartisan Utilizing Significant Emissions with Innovative Technologies Act (USE-IT),
- Expanding the allowable uses of private activity bonds to include investments in carbon capture infrastructure, and
- Facilitating the construction of interstate carbon dioxide pipelines through accelerated permitting;
- Modernizing America’s transportation infrastructure to improve efficiency and resiliency and speed the adoption of new technologies, including by:
- Enacting a multi-year highway bill with increases in overall funding financing through an increase in the motor vehicle fuel tax, and
- Maintaining the Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program;
- Modernizing our energy infrastructure to facilitate the transportation of low and zero-emission energy, including by providing the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission greater authority to site electric transmission lines and natural gas pipelines;
- Supporting the continued use of emissions-free nuclear power by finally providing for the permanent storage of used nuclear materials at Yucca Mountain;
- Reducing short-lived climate pollutants such as hydrofluorocarbons by ratifying the Kigali Amendment; and
- Significantly increasing funding in federal research, including the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E), by dedicating a specific amount of any increased spending provided through a budget cap adjustment deal to clean energy research.
There are likely other policy proposals to reduce emissions on which consensus exists, and we look forward to working with you and your colleagues on both sides of the aisle to craft sensible solutions that are good for the economy and the environment.
Thomas J. Donohue
cc: Sens. Whitehouse, Schatz, Heinrich, Van Hollen, Stabenow, Markey, Harris, Wyden, Bennet, Warren, Tester, Brown, Klobuchar, Kaine, Hirono, Udall, Gillibrand, King, Merkley, Blumenthal, Hassan, Coons, Reed