Padilla Joins Heinrich, Colleagues in Introducing Electrifying America’s Future Resolution
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif) joined Senator Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), along with 12 Senate Democrats, in introducing the Electrifying America’s Future Resolution to advance the vision of widespread electrification of appliances and machines in American homes and businesses. The resolution has received widespread support from over 100 organizations and nonprofits.
Last month, Padilla introduced the Clean Commute for Kids Act, legislation that would invest $25 billion to replace existing diesel buses with electric buses. In 2009 as State Senator, Padilla authored a bill that was signed into law to establish smart grid technology in California.
California has been leading the way in combatting climate change and has prioritized the use of energy from renewable sources throughout the state. California’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS) program – established in 2002 and most recently amended in 2018 – requires that 60% of electricity retail sales in California come from eligible renewable resources by 2030, and requires all of the state’s electricity to come from carbon-free resources by 2045.
“We’ve known for years that to avoid the worst impacts of climate change we must work to end our reliance on fossil fuels sooner rather than later,” said Senator Padilla. “I’m proud to join Senator Heinrich in leading this important resolution to electrify our nation and fight for an emissions-free future. Electrifying America will help save our planet while creating millions of new jobs in the process.”
“Electrifying our homes and businesses is one of the surest climate actions that we can take right now. We can create millions of new jobs, reduce our energy bills, and improve air quality and public health,” said Senator Heinrich. “This is a way to use already existing, proven technologies to dramatically reduce carbon pollution, create millions of new, good-paying jobs, and secure a better, more equitable future for our communities.”
Heinrich added, “We must seize this opportunity by adopting policies to accelerate the electrification of households, buildings, and businesses in the United States. To power these new electrified machines, and to meet our carbon emission goals, America must also modernize our electricity grid, build much more clean energy generation, and continue on the path towards decarbonizing the entire electricity sector by 2035.”
Joining Padilla and Heinrich to introduce the resolution are U.S. Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).
The Electrifying America’s Future resolution outlines how widespread electrification will address climate change, put millions of Americans to work, and advance an equitable economy and strong labor standards. By modernizing the power grid and building a clean and carbon-free energy economy, the United States will become a leader in advanced 21st century industries and a net exporter of clean energy.
Specifically, the Electrifying America’s Future Resolution calls for:
- Electrifying the activities of high-emissions sectors, such as the residential and commercial construction, transportation, and industrial sectors
- Increasing the deployment of zero-emission electricity resources
- Expanding interregional transmission capacity and planning to promote widespread and reliable zero-emission electrification
- Adopting and expanding the use of technologies and processes that will make the electric power grid more resilient, reliable, and efficient
- Improving commercial, infrastructural, and manufacturing capacity for zero-emission electrification
- Lowering total energy costs for households and businesses
- Increasing the available financing for zero-emission electrification supporting technologies at all scales, from utility-scale power stations and transmission lines to individual homes and businesses
- Creating accessible financing mechanisms to make electrification projects affordable for all households
- Improving quality and access for higher education, vocational training, and certification programs for electrification workers, including low-income workers and people of color
- Facilitating the modernization of Federal, State, and local building, electric, and other codes to encourage the adoption of low-cost zero-emission electricity resources
- Investing in energy efficiency programs paired with electrification measures
- Investing in achieving full access to zero-emission electricity for rural and Tribal communities through a combination of new transmission and distribution, and new generation, such as through distributed solar and microgrids
- Pursuing a Federal Government-wide approach to zero-emission electrification
- Increasing understanding of the health impacts of indoor and outdoor air pollution created by fossil fuel appliances and electricity generation, especially on the most vulnerable members of society
- Investing in research, development, and demonstration on the efficient use, recycling, and waste management of materials used in clean energy technologies
- Increasing research, development, and demonstration funding for the next generation of cutting-edge zero- emission electricity resources, deployment techniques, and grid modernization technologies
Read the full text of the resolution here.
A fact sheet on the Electrifying America’s Future resolution can be found here.
A list of supporting quotes can be found here.