Combatting the Climate Crisis
Rep. DeGette believes the ongoing climate crisis is the single greatest threat facing our planet. In Congress, DeGette is leading the charge to cut our nation’s carbon emissions, curb methane waste and pollution, and create the nation’s first-ever federal clean energy standard.
Creating a new Federal Clean Energy Standard
As a senior member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Rep. DeGette has authored legislation to create the first-ever federal clean-energy standard that would require U.S. power companies to eliminate their carbon emissions to help stave off the worst effects of the climate crisis.
Climate experts agree that to effectively combat climate change, the U.S. needs to cut its carbon emissions in half by 2030 and to net zero by 2050.
Here in the United States, one of the main sources of carbon emissions is from the production of electricity. In fact, nearly 25% of all U.S. carbon emissions comes from power plants producing electricity.
By creating a new federal clean-energy standard, DeGette’s legislation – known as the Clean Energy Innovation and Deployment Act (CEIDA) – would require U.S. power companies to eliminate all of their net carbon emissions as early as 2037. And it would provide power companies that are already prepared to convert their plants to zero-emission facilities strong financial incentives to do so immediately.
If approved, the legislation will expedite the innovation and deployment of new technologies needed to combat the climate crisis. It will also provide assistance to fossil-fuel-industry workers, as well as those in minority and low-income communities, as we move toward creating a new clean-energy-based economy.
Click here to see what organizations and companies are saying about the legislation.
Preventing Methane Waste
Methane is one of the most potent greenhouse gases on the planet. And when it’s released into the atmosphere, it becomes one of the leading contributors to global warming.
Nearly one-third of all methane released in the U.S. comes from oil and gas drilling operations. Climate experts agree that reducing methane emissions from these sites is essential to combatting the climate crisis.
In March of 2021, DeGette introduced legislation to limit the amount of methane that U.S. oil and gas producers can release into the atmosphere.
If approved, this legislation – known as the Methane Waste Prevention Act of 2021 – would require the Environmental Protection Agency and Bureau of Land Management to set strict new standards limiting the amount of methane that oil and gas producers can release from their drilling sites.
Under the terms of DeGette’s bill, oil and gas producers would be required to cut their methane emissions by at least 65 percent by 2025; and by at least 90 percent by 2030.
Protecting communities from the threat of Hydrogen Cyanide
In 2019, Rep. DeGette introduced legislation to close a legal loophole that allows refineries in the U.S. to pump unlimited amounts of hydrogen cyanide into the atmosphere.
Hydrogen cyanide is a highly toxic chemical. Yet, because of a loophole in the law, there is no specific limit on how much hydrogen cyanide refineries can release into the air we all breathe.
DeGette’s legislation would require the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to set a federal limit on the amount of hydrogen cyanide refineries in the U.S. can emit each year. In particular, the legislation would require the EPA to determine the potential health effects that hydrogen cyanide can have on nearby communities and set a maximum limit that will fully protect nearby residents.
Promoting Environmental Justice
When we fail to protect our environment, it is often minority and low-income communities who suffer the most.
In addition to preventing future damage to our planet, DeGette is leading the charge to help those who have already been disproportionately impacted by our climate crisis.
In 2019, the U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation DeGette introduced to help communities disproportionately impacted by large amounts of pollution from nearby facilities.
The legislation requires the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to identify and clean up 100 of the most heavily-polluted communities in the country. It would also require the EPA to study the cumulative impact of multiple sources of pollution on a community and incorporate that information into agency health assessments going forward.