SEEC In The News
June 23, 2020 |
House Democratic leaders included extensions of tax breaks long sought by the renewable energy sector as part of a $1.5 trillion infrastructure package. The decision to include them is a victory for environmentalists and environmentally minded Democrats in Congress, who had pressed for more aid to the clean energy sector, which has lost 620,000 jobs since the start of the pandemic. In a letter last week, eight leaders of the House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition told Pelosi and other Democratic leaders the emergency payroll loans for small businesses were not enough to save the jobs of many solar panel installers and wind turbine technicians. “[I]t’s hard to keep workers on payroll even with federal support when the projects employees would return to are collapsing,” they wrote.
June 22, 2020 |
As Rep. Chellie Pingree and other leaders of the House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition said in a letter Monday, this is a rare opportunity to remake America’s economy in a more energy-efficient way. The group listed numerous bills and administrative actions that should be taken as the country responds to, and ultimately emerges from, the coronavirus pandemic. These include dedicated support for the clean energy sector — and its more than 3 million employees — in any future relief packages that are passed by Congress. They also suggest changes to tax incentives, loan programs and federal funding for renewable energy, water treatment, transportation infrastructure, land conservation and others. They also highlight how federal investments, clean energy and environmental protection are intertwined with concerns about racial and economic inequality and justice. There is an urgency to this work. World leaders have a short time — perhaps only six months — to capitalize on the carbon dioxide emission reductions that have accompanied the pandemic, an international energy expert told the Guardian newspaper.
June 18, 2020 |
The leaders of the House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition have delivered a letter asking Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, and nine committee chairs to use coronavirus recovery legislation to promote a sustainable economy. The 17-page document, provided to Morning Consult, outlines specific policy across such topics as electric grid infrastructure, transportation and equity and environmental justice. Some of these policy objectives, SEEC Executive Director Maria Laverdiere said, are expected to appear in the House Democrats’ $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan.
June 8, 2020 |
House Democrats are ratcheting up pressure to insert financial help for clean energy into upcoming bills, setting up a clash with GOP lawmakers who’ve so far derided attempts to aid renewables as a bid to implement the Green New Deal. Evergreen Action, a collection of former staffers on Gov. Inslee's presidential campaign, has released its own plan outlining ways for Democrats to boost clean energy as part of recovery. They’ve briefed House and Senate Democratic leadership on their proposals and did the same with the House Sustainable Energy & Environment Coalition on Friday.
Setting their sights on a fifth coronavirus economic relief package, the leaders of the House sustainability coalition are drafting an outline of clean energy, infrastructure and other climate priorities to share with the chamber’s leadership. Rep. A. Donald McEachin (D-Va.) said in a statement that the House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition “will continue to strongly advocate for clean energy policies that support workers and family-sustaining jobs, along with other sustainability policies that advance the cause of environmental justice and promote the development of sustainable infrastructure.” McEachin, a vice chair of the coalition, confirmed that the group is staying in touch with House leadership, encouraging a “climate-smart” rebuild following the coronavirus pandemic “with the future in mind.” And according to McEachin spokesperson Ralph Jones, SEEC’s detailed outline of policy priorities will come in the form of a letter from the group’s eight leaders, with the goal of supporting a future recovery bill.
May 4, 2020 |
The impact of the crisis on wind, solar and other clean-energy firms is already showing up in jobs numbers. About 106,000 clean-energy workers have already filed for unemployment in March alone, according to an analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data by Environmental Entrepreneurs, an advocacy group. Already, Democrats are signaling they will make a push again in the next round of stimulus spending. “Relief and recovery legislation will shape our society for years to come,” said Rep. A. Donald McEachin (D-Va.), vice chair of the House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition, a caucus that supports renewable energy resources. “We must use these bills to build in a climate-smart way.”
May 4, 2020 |
The coronavirus crisis is not only battering the oil and gas industry. It’s drying up capital and disrupting supply chains for businesses trying to move the country toward cleaner sources of energy. Already, Democrats are signaling they will make a push again in the next round of stimulus spending. “Relief and recovery legislation will shape our society for years to come,” said Rep. A. Donald McEachin (D-Va.), vice chair of the House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition, a caucus that supports renewable energy resources. “We must use these bills to build in a climate-smart way.”
April 13, 2020 |
Though certain industries may benefit from the rollbacks, the costs will accrue to public health. As explained by U.S. Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), the top Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, the rollback of emissions standards “will lead to dirtier air at a time when our country is working around the clock to respond to a respiratory pandemic whose effects may be exacerbated by air pollution.” Likewise, members of the Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition strongly opposed the decision to suspend environmental enforcement because it will “only add to the severity of the COVID-19 crisis” and likely lead to “adding patients to health care providers' already overwhelming caseloads.”
April 6, 2020 |
Massachusetts Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey are slamming Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidance that eased environmental compliance standards amid the coronavirus pandemic, joining a chorus of other Democrats and environmentalists who oppose the action. Last week, lawmakers in the House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition called the guidance “irresponsible” and said in a letter that it “neglects the Agency’s core mission to protect public health.”
March 31, 2020 |
Guidance released by the agency last week informed companies they would not face fines or other enforcement actions from the agency for failing to monitor and report their pollution. “This suspension of enforcement during the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis is irresponsible and neglects the Agency’s core mission to protect public health,” lawmakers in the House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC) wrote in a letter spearheaded by Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.).