Congresswoman Schakowsky's Statement on the Passage of the Clean Energy Jobs and Innovation Act

September 24, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, Senior Chief Deputy Whip and Chair of the Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee, made the following statement today after the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 4447, Clean Energy Jobs and Innovation Act, by a vote of 220-185:

“While H.R. 4447 alone doesn’t meet the scale of investment needed to fully confront the climate crisis, the Clean Energy Jobs and Innovation Act makes needed reforms to update U.S. energy policy and authorizes major investments in the transition to a low-carbon future.

“Specifically, this bill revitalizes Department of Energy (DOE) programs that drive innovation in solar, wind, electric vehicles, grid modernization, and other sectors. Achieving net-zero emissions across the country, and avoiding the worst consequences of climate change, require the robust funding this bill provides. For those on the frontlines of climate change, including low-income communities and communities of color, this bill creates new environmental justice grant programs and prioritizes clean energy projects located in their communities.

“H.R. 4447 would also prioritize labor protections and clean energy job investment. The COVID crisis and economic downturn led to over half a million clean energy workers losing their jobs. H.R. 4447 not only provides desperately needed support to the clean energy sector, it also invests in resolute labor standards that put workers first. Crucially, this bill includes Davis-Bacon labor protections, ensuring strong wage standards and project labor agreement requirements for any project funded under the Act. The bill also establishes a clean energy workforce development program and requires the use of manufactured goods produced in the United States.

“It is my adamant belief that we must rapidly transition away from fossil fuels toward clean energy. The wildfires that continue to devastate the West, and hurricanes that threaten the East, highlight how once-in-a-generation disasters are now normal occurrences brought about by climate change. These destructive events highlight the need for us to address the climate crisis at its source—fossil fuels. H.R. 4447 is not the bill I would have drafted, but some progress is better than none.

“The fight to save our planet and create a cleaner future for all is far from over. As we move forward and look to the next Congress, I firmly believe we will be sign into law legislation that goes much bigger and assures a carbon-free future. But today with the passage of this bill we are making a preliminary investment in a cleaner, healthier future for all.