WASHINGTON, D.C. — Marty Durbin, senior vice president of policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, issued the following statement today applauding the news that House and Senate negotiators have reached an agreement to include climate and energy innovation legislation in their year-end omnibus appropriations package.
“Passing a climate and energy innovation bill has been one of the U.S. Chamber’s top priorities this Congress. Today’s announcement of an agreement on this package is truly historic—setting up the biggest action Congress has ever taken to address climate change, and the first energy bill in 13 years.
“This package demonstrates the progress that is possible when businesses, environmental groups, labor and policymakers work together to find solutions on difficult issues. Over the last few years, we found a great deal of cynicism that a bill like this could actually get done. But passage of this bill will prove that there is common ground on which all sides of the debate can come together to begin to address climate change, promote American technological leadership, and foster continued economic growth.
“The Chamber endorsed dozens of specific, innovation-focused bills during this Congress, with many of them included in this package. We worked closely with members of Congress and key committee staff, on both sides of the aisle, and mobilized business community support for this bill, including several coalition letters that demonstrated support across a broad diversity of stakeholders.
“Why does the business community stand so strongly behind this bill? Because we know that the development and commercialization of technology is the single most important factor that will determine how quickly and at what cost greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced around the world. No emissions goal or degree target will matter if the technology essential to meet it is not developed and deployed. While the American business community has already committed billions to these efforts, the federal government can push these efforts to the next level. This includes support not just for near-term R&D, but also “moonshot” projects that are more difficult for the private sector to launch. This legislation delivers on this front, and on many others with support for carbon capture and sequestration, nuclear, geothermal, hydro, energy storage, and much more.
"We commend Congress for its inclusion of important innovation-enabling environmental policies that are a priority for the Chamber. These include the USE IT Act and the long-awaited phase down of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) consistent with the Kigali amendment, which itself will have a major impact on reducing emissions that contribute to global warming.
“We look forward to the adoption of this package in the coming days, and to the President’s signature.”