Rep. Delgado Priorities Included in Landmark Climate Action Report

June 30, 2020
Press Release
Rep. Delgado’s Green Jobs and Rebuild Rural Legislation Included as Measures Important to Addressing Climate Crisis

WASHINGTON, DC – This morning, the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis unveiled a comprehensive congressional climate action framework, highlighting U.S. Representative Antonio Delgado’s Green Jobs and Opportunity Act and his Rebuild Rural America Act as important tools in the effort to solve the climate crisis.

The Select Committee’s climate action framework outlines ambitious and achievable policies to:

  • Grow our economy and put Americans back to work in clean energy jobs
  • Protect the health of all families
  • Make sure our communities and farmers can withstand the impacts of climate change
  • Protect America’s land and water for the next generation

The report specifically recommends timely action to build the workforce of the future and support the health and development of rural communities, pointing to Rep. Delgado’s Green Jobs and Opportunity Act and Rebuild Rural America Act as two tools Congress can use to address the climate crisis and ensure the green jobs and infrastructure of the future are developed in upstate New York and across the country.

“We have a moral imperative to combat climate change immediately and bring down carbon emissions to protect our planet for future generations. Addressing the changing climate requires forward thinking and a whole of government response that examines how we ensure our workforce and communities are prepared for the changing clean energy economy,” said Rep. Delgado. “To recognize the economic opportunities afforded by climate change, I’ve championed legislation that recognizes the needs of a green economy and creates meaningful economic growth opportunities.”

“I am proud to have both my Green Jobs and Opportunity Act as well as the Rebuild Rural America Act included in the House Select Committee on Climate Crisis framework to give the United States a road map to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Both of these bills will ensure significant investments are made so our current workforce can capitalize on these new, green opportunities in an economy that meets the energy demand with clean, renewable, and net-zero emission sources.” Rep. Delgado continued, “I will continue to champion these provisions, which are crucial to the long-term economic well-being of upstate New York and ensuring our workforce is prepared to meet the energy needs of tomorrow.”

The Select Committee’s plan would put the country on a path to net-zero carbon pollution by 2050, if not earlier. It would power economic recovery through clean energy investment and family-sustaining jobs, and address the legacy of environmental injustice harming America’s low-income communities and communities of color.

“House Democrats recognize that we have the moral imperative to meet this moment with a bold climate action plan to reduce carbon pollution, create much-needed jobs to rebuild our economy, and tackle the systemic injustice of environmental racism head-on,” said Rep. Kathy Castor, Chair of the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), to avoid the most severe impacts of a changing climate, there must be net-zero global emissions by 2050. Rep. Delgado’s Green Jobs and Opportunity Act starts with the assumption of achieving this critical goal and then requires the U.S. Departments of Labor (DOL) and Energy (DOE) to work backward to project current and future workforce needs and shortages in the energy sector specifically. These reports would be completed quarterly and would include recommendations to ensure the U.S. remains on track with the IPCC’s designated timeline. Importantly, the legislation makes a significant investment—$260 million per year for fiscal years 2020 through 2022—for workforce development for displaced workers. This funding would be distributed as grants to educational institutions and labor organizations, among other entities, to establish flexible training programs to reduce any shortages and skill gaps that the DOL-DOE reports identify.

Rep. Delgado’s Rebuild Rural America Act would improve the way that the federal government supports economic development projects in small towns and rural communities to better fit their specific needs. This bill would create the Rural Future Partnership Fund through USDA, which would provide a $50 billion multi-year, flexible block grants to rural regions that have trouble navigating the complex federal grants process.  This funding would allow eligible communities to automatically receive a commitment of five-year, renewable funding to support progress on the region’s locally developed goals and objectives. This will ensure that the federal government complements local economic development efforts to help make local economies more resilient, ensuring our rural communities are places in which anyone can live, work, raise a family and retire.

The House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis was created at the outset of the 116th Congress to deliver policy recommendations to other House committees on how to solve the climate crisis. The full Select Committee report is viewable here.