• Senate Democrats Unveil Clean Energy Plan
  • October 1, 2015
  • Law Firm: McDonald Hopkins LLC - Cleveland Office
  • This week, hoping to capitalize on the visit by Pope Francis, an outspoken supporter of efforts to combat global climate change, Senate Democrats unveiled their comprehensive energy proposal.

    The Democratic effort in the Senate is being spearheaded by the ranking member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA).

    The proposal seeks to combat global climate change through changes in our tax policy, aggressive emission reduction goals, and an emphasis on new clean technology.

    The bill was unveiled with 28 co-sponsors, all Democrats, and is named the American Energy Innovation Act of 2015. While Republicans and climate change skeptics often point out the economic concerns raised by federal efforts to reduce carbon emissions, Cantwell says that her legislation would create more than 3.5 million jobs.

    In a press conference on Tuesday, Senate Democrats spoke extensively about the bill's emphasis on incentives and funding to develop clean energy, along with an overhaul to energy provisions in the tax code that they say favors fossil fuels at the expense of renewables.

    The legislation would cut tax breaks for oil and natural gas and instead increase and streamline credits for low-emission technologies. The bill would also set a nonbinding target of reducing the United States’ greenhouse gas emissions two percent per year over the next decade.

    The legislation also includes language that would crack down on electric utilities charging too much to residential customers who want to use solar panels and sell electricity back to the grid.