SEEC Co-Chairs applaud passage of sustainable recovery policies as first step

December 21, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.  – SEEC Co-Chairs Reps. Doris Matsui, Gerry Connolly and Paul Tonko made the following statement in response to the passage of SEEC priorities in the end-of-year-funding package.

“We applaud the passage of bipartisan Covid relief for Americans across the country and the inclusion of important SEEC climate and energy recovery priorities in the end-of-year funding package.

“We must do all we can to support Americans through this pandemic and be prepared to build back better afterward. That’s why SEEC applauds the inclusion of clean energy tax credit extensions that will help advance projects and keep clean energy workers on the job, in addition to critical funding for clean energy R&D that will help spur innovation,  job growth, and economic development while also protecting our country from the climate crisis. We are also excited to see the DERA reauthorization, which will enable upgrades to millions of diesel engines improving air quality and living conditions for our communities, and the Weatherization Assistance Program reauthorization, which will support low-income energy efficiency retrofits and help families reduce energy costs. Finally, we applaud the phase-down of HFC pollution as a historic step in the right direction to get a dangerous heat-trapping gas out of our atmosphere. This step alone will help prevent a half-degree Celsius of warming by the end of the century and is essential to reaching our shared climate goals.

“SEEC has long been an advocate for these smart, sustainable policies, but they have become all the more important now as we look to support Americans during this pandemic and prepare to lead our country out of it in a way that protects us all from the ongoing climate crisis. Our work is far from over, but we are pleased to see some of the policies we need pass today.”

As part of their call for a just and sustainable recovery this spring, SEEC leaders called for clean energy tax credit extensions, increased energy innovation funding, and increased support for programs like the Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA) and the Weatherization Assistance Program that are especially important to reducing air pollution and energy costs in frontline communities. In 2019, SEEC led a letter signed by 70% of the Democratic Caucus calling for an extension for clean energy tax credits as an immediate policy to help reduce greenhouse-gas pollution. In July 2020, SEEC Vice-Chair Rep. Matt Cartwright introduced SEEC’s Clean Energy Innovation Funding Act, which lays out in more detail ways we can significantly increase clean energy funding to spur economic recovery and help address the climate crisis. SEEC Co-Chair Rep Doris Matsui led the bill to reauthorize DERA in the 116th Congress, and SEEC Co-Chair Rep Paul Tonko led the bill to reauthorize and strengthen the Weatherization Assistance Program and the bill to phase down HFCs.