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Bicameral Electrification Caucus Formed in Congress

Bicameral Electrification Caucus Formed in Congress

WASHINGTON – Chair Kathy Castor of the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, U.S. Representative Paul Tonko, and U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich and Tina Smith recently announced the first-ever Electrification Caucus. The new, bicameral caucus will work to advance policies to accelerate widespread electrification. The lawmakers released the following statement highlighting the benefits of making electrification more accessible, including lowering energy bills, improving air quality and public health, addressing the climate crisis, and creating jobs:

“Electrifying our homes, commercial buildings, and vehicles is one of the most practical actions we can take to address the climate crisis and it deserves to be elevated. Using electricity for household needs like heating and cooking will help lower energy bills and insulate American families from volatile fuel prices. Electrifying our lives and our economy will also create jobs in local communities and improve the air we breathe in our homes and workplaces.

“U.S. energy-related emissions are significantly impacted by decisions we make around the kitchen table: how we heat our homes and water, how we cook our food and dry our clothes, what cars we drive, and how we power it all. Fortunately, key technologies to electrify our homes, commercial buildings, and vehicles are already widely available in the market.

“While there are broad positive returns to electrifying homes and buildings, American families can face ample barriers to making these initial investments. We will be working to break down those barriers to ensure electrification is accessible to everyone, including low- and moderate-income households.

“For our constituents who are rightfully demanding action on the climate crisis, electrification is something tangible and meaningful that we can do right now to make a difference. As members of Congress, we have the opportunity to put forward policies to help lower upfront costs, reduce friction points, and increase access to these technologies for all of our constituents,” said Castor, Tonko, Heinrich, and Smith.

Some of the issues the Electrification Caucus will discuss and highlight include:

•  Consumer rebates, consumer-facing tax credits, and financing mechanisms
•  Workforce training
•  Justice and equity issues related to electrification
•  Electric vehicle charging infrastructure
•  Building codes
•  Grid improvements and expanding transmission
•  Upstream incentives to spur U.S. manufacturing
•  Transition of electric sector to clean energy
•  Incentives to encourage electrification of industrial processes and facilities

117th Congress

 

In response to this, National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMAPresident and CEO Debra Phillips issued the following statement:

“America’s electrical manufacturers are the backbone of a more connected, resilient, and sustainable future.  We are pleased to see Congressional leaders recognize the essential role electrification plays in modernizing our infrastructure, enhancing the quality of life for all Americans and growing a sustainable economy. NEMA has long advocated for legislative enablers to electrify the nation’s buildings, ports, rail lines, and vehicles and modernize the power grid. We believe these investments will unlock a plethora of opportunities for American businesses and workers. NEMA members look forward to working with the new Electrification Caucus to advance these critical policy priorities, and we encourage all members of the House and Senate to join the cause.”

The new bicameral Electrification Caucus in Congress was announced on November 17, 2021, by Chair Kathy Castor (D-FL) of the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, U.S. Representative Paul Tonko (D-NY), and U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and Tina Smith (D-MN).

 

NAED’s Senior Vice President of Government Affairs & Strategic Projects, Ed Orlet, and NAED’s General Counsel, Ian Reynolds, had this to say:

“Electrification is clearly important to the electrical distribution industry. We hope the Caucus will bring bipartisan policy proposals, including policies that leverage the energy-efficient solutions electrical distributors are well-positioned to offer. NAED looks forward to serving as a resource to the Caucus.”

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