O’Halleran Legislation Included in House Climate Crisis Plan
WASHINGTON—Today, the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis released their new climate action plan—Solving the Climate Crisis: The Congressional Action Plan for a Clean Energy Economy and a Healthy and Just America. Within the comprehensive list of congressional recommendations to address climate change are two bills—and additional legislative initiatives—authored by Congressman Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01) to transition phased-out coal plants and aid displaced workers, develop energy storage technology and incentives for rural electric utilities, and assist tribal communities in accessing the federal resources and assistance they need to advance their energy development initiatives.
“From raging forest fires to decades-long droughts, every corner of our state has felt the effects of climate change,” said O’Halleran. “As a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, I am working with my colleagues to take decisive, bipartisan action and address this very real threat to the livelihood of Arizonans and the American people. I was proud to see my legislation that encourages electric companies serving our rural communities to use renewable energy technologies, and my initiatives to aid sovereign tribal nations transitioning toward clean fuel sources included in this important climate crisis plan.”
Recommendations to Congress in the Congressional Action Plan for a Clean Energy Economy and a Healthy and Just America include enacting:
- H.R. 4318, O’Halleran’s Providing Recovery Opportunities and Mitigating the Industry’s Shifting Economics (PROMISE) Act, legislation to empower tribal sovereignty and energy resilience through grant funding to tribes and adversely impacted communities that are transitioning away from fossil fuels to help them develop opportunities to diversify economically;
- H.R. 4447, O’Halleran’s Expanding Access to Sustainable Energy Act of 2019, which would direct Department of Energy (DOE) to create a program to provide grants and technical assistance to rural cooperatives to develop storage and microgrid projects using renewable energy;
- and initiatives O’Halleran championed in H.R. 5541, his Tribal Power Act, legislation to substantially increase funding for the DOE Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs, authorize the reduction of cost share requirements for energy projects funded by that office in cases of financial need, and require the Secretary of Energy to consult with tribal governments on identifying the availability of, and barriers to, reliable electric infrastructure for households on tribal lands.
In support of O’Halleran’s initiatives included within the final draft of the Committee’s plan, Scott Garlid, executive director of the Arizona Wildlife Federation, said, “Over the last weeks once again we've been forced to watch the state we love and some very special places go up in flames. Now more than ever we must invest in solutions that build our state's natural resilience to climate-fueled disasters like megafires.”