WASHINGTON, April 6 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.), and Rep. Jason Crow (D-Colo.) today introduced the Energy Security and Independence Act, a historic effort to lower utility bills, strengthen America’s renewable energy supply chain, and put the country on the path to energy independence through the Defense Production Act. This legislation would invest $150 billion in onshore renewable energy manufacturing and create thousands of good-paying, union jobs.
“When it comes to the existential threat of climate change, we are in the midst of a global struggle with nothing less than the future of the planet at stake,” said Sen. Sanders. “Today, with rising prices on essential items and Russia’s horrific war in Ukraine, it is clear now more than ever: Addressing climate change and energy dependence is not just an environmental issue, it is a matter of national security. That’s why I’m proud to join with Representatives Bush and Crow to introduce the Energy Security and Independence Act, which would put us on the path to transforming our energy system away from fossil fuels toward renewable energy. Not only would this legislation help us combat climate change and strengthen energy security and independence in the U.S., but it will help working families save money on their utility bills, create good, union jobs, and take on the greed of oligarchs both here and abroad. Now is the time to think and act boldly in order to leave a more peaceful and habitable world for our children and grandchildren.”
Nearly 80 percent of energy consumption and 60 percent of electricity generation in the U.S. comes from fossil fuels. Sixty percent of Vermont households use fossil fuels for heating. In Vermont in the past year, the price of a gallon of heating oil has increased by 82 percent ($2.28) and the price of a gallon of gas has increased by 49 percent ($1.37).
“The days of energy security being synonymous with a reliance on human rights violators like Russia and Saudi Arabia, or a propagation of corporate profits for Exxon, Chevron, and BP, are over,” said Rep. Bush. “When we talk about energy security, it’s time we include the safety of Black and brown lives in that definition. Energy security means making energy affordable for every household. Energy security means investing in energy efficiency so people can breathe clean air and keep the heat or air conditioning on. Energy security means alleviating the climate crisis by reducing our emissions and transitioning to renewable energy. I’m proud to work together with my colleagues Senator Sanders and Congressman Crow to make our vision of energy security a reality in this country.”
“As the climate crisis worsens and oil prices skyrocket from Putin’s war, we must accelerate our transition to clean energy,” said Rep. Crow. “I’m proud to join with Rep. Bush and Senator Sanders in introducing the Energy Security and Independence Act – commonsense legislation that will help meet the moment on our climate goals and bolster our national security.”
The Energy Security and Independence Act will strengthen and onshore zero-emission energy production, invest in high-quality, good-paying union jobs, and reduce legacy pollution levels across the country that have disproportionately affected generations of Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities. Natural gas has exposed 1 million Black Americans to cancer-causing chemicals and caused too many Black children to miss thousands of days of school. Climate change’s worst impacts, including flooding, wildfires, and extreme heat, are also more likely to affect frontline low-income communities left with nowhere else to live.
Specifically, the Energy Security and Independence Act of 2022 will:
- Fund the Defense Production Act (DPA) for use by the Biden administration to build and maintain a domestic renewable energy industrial base in the U.S. to lower prices and reduce our reliance on dangerous and unpredictable fossil fuels;
- Invest in the renewable energy supply chain in the U.S. to support reliable, affordable, and safe energy production and green, union jobs;
- Invest billions in energy efficiency to lower utility prices for working families, including investments in weatherization and heat pumps.
In the Senate, the bill is co-sponsored by Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).
In the House, the bill is co-sponsored by Reps. Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Andy Levin (D-Minn.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.), Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.), Jesús “Chuy” García, (D-Ill.) Joe Neguse (D-Colo.), Mark Takano (D-Calif.), Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.), Rashida Tlaib (D-Minn.), Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Jared Huffman (D-Calif.), Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), Yvette D. Clarke (D-N.Y.), Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Marie Newman (D-Ill.), Nanette Diaz Barragán (D-Calif.) Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), Sean Casten (D-Ill.), Mikie Sherrill (D-N.J.), and Karen Bass (D-Calif.).
The bicameral legislation is endorsed by over 80 groups and organizations, including: 198 methods, 350 Triangle, 350 Ventura County Climate Hub, American Sustainable Business Network, Association of Young Americans, Beyond Extreme Energy, Bold Alliance, Canton Residents for a Sustainable Equitable Future, Center for Biological Diversity, Christians For The Mountains, Climate Hawks Vote, CodePink, Common Defense, Conejo Climate Coalition, Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) Knoxville TN chapter, Earth Ethics, Inc., Earth Guardians Bay Area, Earth Works, Economic Policy Institute, Electrify Now, Extinction Rebellion San Francisco Bay Area, Farmworker Association of Florida, Food & Water Watch, Foreign Policy for America, Friends Committee on National Legislation, Gen-Z for Change, Giniw Collective, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, Green New Deal Network, Green Workers Alliance, GreenFaith, GreenLatinos, Greenpeace USA, Greenvest, Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy, Harrington Investments, Inc., Heartwood, Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition, Indigenous Environmental Network, Indivisible, Jewish Climate Action network, Labor Network for Sustainability, League of Conservation Voters, Long Beach Alliance for Clean Energy, Maine Unitarian Universalist State Advocacy Network (MUUSAN), Methane Action, Michigan United, Mothers Out Front, New Energy Economy, North Quabbin Energy, Ocean Conservation Research, Oil and Gas Action Network, Oil Change International, Our Climate, Our Revolution, Palms To Pines Democratic Network, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Arizona Chapter, Progressive Democrats of America, Public Citizen, Récolte Energy, Rewiring America, Santa Cruz Climate Action Network, Saphron Initiative, Save Our Illinois Land, Sequoia ForestKeeper, Sierra Club, Social Eco Education (SEE), Solarize Abany, Stand.earth, Sunrise Movement, Terra Advocati, The Climate and Community Project, The Democracy Collaborative, The Enviro Show, The Shalom Center, Turtle Island Restoration Network, Unitarian Universalist Advocacy Network of Illinois (UUANI), Unitarian Universalist Association, Unitarian Universalists for Social Justice, Vote Climate, Waterway Advocates, Win Without War, Working Families Party, and Zero Hour, among others.
A full text of the bill can be found here.
A one-pager on the bill can be found here.