The Climate’s Improved Future
Today is a special day for the American climate policy: it is the final day of the Trump administration. While it is clear that climate change will not be a priority for the next four years, today the Trump team is being given a great opportunity to clean up the administration’s environmental record and lay a new pathway forward for the nation’s efforts to manage its carbon emissions. They might be able to do so without the distraction that comes from a federal court battle over whether states can seek to enact carbon regulations of their own, as was the case when this country first set a national policy for climate change.
Of course, there are things you can do right now to get started in the fight to reverse the damage of climate change. Here are a few of the most important first steps that we took in 2016:
1. We supported the introduction of legislation to require that every state submit a yearly plan on new emission standards for power plants and require that every state submit a plan detailing how it plans to reduce emissions.
2. We passed a number of strong climate-focused measures that helped to reverse the effects of the energy crisis we still experienced in 2013. These include:
• The Clean Power Plan, which was the most comprehensive and effective clean power standard in the United States.
• The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Acts, which increased the federal government’s support for and investment in wind, solar, and electric vehicles; and
• The first-ever federal investment to reduce carbon emissions during a tax year (the American Clean Energy and Security Act or ACES Act).
3. We passed the most comprehensive transportation package in history, The Transportation Act. It included several initiatives focused on transportation improvements, including:
• A bill to increase funding for mass transit infrastructure, which would invest over $1.5 billion per year in next-generation rail, buses, and commuter trains over the next ten years.
• The first federal investment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions during a tax year (the American Clean Energy and Security Act) to give Americans a tax incentive to replace more than two trillion pounds of carbon in the air every year with cleaner transportation