Hal Harvey’s Insights And Updates: Congress Finally Undertaking A More Serious Conversation On Climate Change

At this week’s hearing of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, I had a chance to testify, laying out in brief oral testimony a handful of large-scale, fast action steps Congress could take, and offering a longer, comprehensive strategy in written testimony.

Consider the U.S. power sector, where three-quarters of existing coal-fired generation costs more to operate than replacing it with wind or solar—within 35 miles of each plant.

The missing ingredient is good policy. My testimony outlined four federal recommendations to strengthen our communities and economy:

  1. Ensure the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is a merit-driven, technology-neutral organization, required to run the lowest-cost power system.
  2. Set performance targets for our grid, aiming at 80 percent zero-carbon electricity generation by 2035.
  3. Build the most advanced cars and trucks in the world through a combination of ever-stronger efficiency standards and increased electric vehicle deployment.
  4. Ensure that communities affected by the clean energy transition get transition assistance, namely by creating good jobs for current residents using the skills they have.

Congress has a golden opportunity to act on climate change, preserve the America we recognize, and avoid creating a FEMA-world of endless natural disasters. Smart climate policy is not only a good idea, it is entirely feasible.

This week’s Congressional hearing is an encouraging step toward that goal. I hope you’ll enjoy watching it.

For a fuller strategy, please take a look at our written testimony.