Congresswoman Gwen Moore’s Legislation Recognized as Critical Component in Fighting Climate Change in House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis Report

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Washington, June 30, 2020 | comments

Congresswoman Gwen Moore’s Legislation Recognized as Critical Component in Fighting Climate Change in House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis Report

Today, the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis released a report highlighting actions to address climate change and tackle environmental injustices, which disproportionately harm low-income communities and communities of color. Congresswoman Moore’s bills, the Empowering Homeowners Energy Efficiency Act and the Promoting Sustainable Energy Projects for Tribal Communities Act, are highlighted in this comprehensive report. In response, she released the following statement:

“Climate change is an issue we must address now through meaningful policies. This important report details sweeping actions and legislation our country needs, including legislation that I have introduced. Rather than running away from the challenges posed by combatting climate change, as this Administration has done, this report reaffirms that the federal government must lead both domestically and internationally to achieve meaningful change. 

As noted in the report, ‘federal investments to mitigate and adapt to climate change will return benefits for human health, economic productivity, and avoided disaster damage that far outweigh the cost of federal spending.’

One of my bills highlighted in this report, the Promoting Sustainable Energy Projects for Tribal Communities Act of 2019 (HR 5158) would guarantee that tribal governments receive 100% of the funding equivalent to a tax credit for qualifying investments in green energy projects. For too long, Tribes have been ineligible to tax advantage of the federal incentives provided through the tax code. This bill would address an historical disadvantage Native communities have faced in accessing resources and incentives to produce renewable energy.” 

This week, the Congresswoman will vote in support of an infrastructure bill (H.R. 2) that begins to implement some of these recommendations and ensures that our transportation and infrastructure needs consider and address climate change, including by creating a new community climateinnovation grant program and a new carbon pollution reduction apportionment program, investing $8.3 billion in highway, transit, and rail projects that will reduce greenhouse gases, holding States accountable for their performance by measuring annual progress and requiring low-performing States to dedicate additional resources toward reducing carbon pollution, an making  strong investments in public transportation including at total of $1.725 billion for zero emission buses, among numerous other provisions. H.R. 2 also includes both H.R. 5159 and H.R. 5159, mentioned above.

“As noted in the report, confronting the climate crisis requires action across sectors and at all levels of government. I remain committed to taking strong action to fight climate change and environmental injustices impacting our most vulnerable communities.”

Read the entire report here.

Background on H.R. 5158, the Promoting Sustainable Energy Projects for Tribal Communities Act of 2019

The tax-exempt status of tribal governments has precluded Indian country from benefiting from existing incentives. Tribes have been sidelined in efforts to grow the amount of energy from renewable resources. For example, tribes are often relegated to being passive players by leasing their lands to third party developers. These arrangements can leave tribes without a voice in how their land, water, atmosphere and community are affected.

Furthermore, for generations, many tribes have relied on coal reserves, coal mines, and coal plants for jobs and financial resources. These tribes are facing additional hurdles due to the fact that our nation and utility companies are shifting away from coal.

HR 5158 will spur renewable energy infrastructure in Indian country and promote tribal energy sufficiency and tribal self-determination by empowering tribes to tap into the abundance of renewable resource potential that exists on tribal lands.

“My other bill highlighted in the report, the Empowering Homeowners Energy Efficiency Act (H.R. 5159), would provide homeowners with a tax credit to lower the cost of receiving a home energy audit. These audits are a great opportunity for individuals to lower the carbon footprint of their homes, which is why I want to reduce any potential financial obstacles.” 

Background on the Empowering Homeowners Energy Efficiency Act (H.R. 5159)

An Home Energy Audit (HEA) is an assessment to determine where a residence is losing energy, specifically trouble spots that can be fixed to make a home’s energy consumption more efficient and sustainable. The scope of an HEA can vary, ranging from a minimal test of the efficiency of household appliances, windows and doors, to a comprehensive review of the efficiency of the home’s structure (e.g., using a variety of diagnostic tools such as a blower door test to look for air leaks to the outside or an infrared camera exam to determine effectiveness of exterior wall insulation).

Many state and federal grant programs already help cover the cost of making the improvements recommended through an energy audit. This tax credit would serve as a powerful incentive for homeowners to make green decisions for their homes, providing them with a deeper understanding of what changes could both reduce their energy costs and their home’s carbon footprint.

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