Comments to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on the Committee’s Plan to Achieve a 100 Percent Clean Economy by 2050

Colin Cunliff David M. Hart October 11, 2019
October 11, 2019


In July 2019, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce announced their plan to develop comprehensive climate policy to cut carbon pollution to zero by 2050. ITIF has responded to the Committee’s request for input by outlining seven broad principles to underpin comprehensive climate policy; seven strategic recommendations to accelerate clean energy innovation; and a number of specific ideas to decarbonize the most challenging sectors of the economy.

Because climate change is a global challenge that requires global solutions, ITIF recommends that U.S. climate policy leverage American strengths to drive global action. Eliminating U.S. emissions, by itself, would not solve the problem of climate change. Yet the United States has substantial leverage to reduce emissions elsewhere. The first step in any plan is for the United States to set a good example by cutting its own emissions and to use its diplomatic influence to encourage other nations to achieve more ambitious goals. The United States should also lead other nations in meeting its Mission Innovation pledge to double investment in clean energy research, development, and demonstration (RD&D). Most importantly, federal policy should mobilize America’s technical and business communities to develop clean energy systems that are cheaper and better than dirty ones. This is the only way that the world will make the switch to clean energy.

ITIF’s comments are structured as answers to three questions posed by the Committee:

  1. What are the key policy, regulatory, and market considerations that should inform the development of comprehensive climate legislation?
  2. Please describe any innovative concepts for climate policy design, including both sector-specific and economywide measures, that you believe the Committee should consider.

  3. If you work in, advise, or are familiar with sectors that are particularly challenging to decarbonize, have you identified any effective (and scalable) solutions that should be included in comprehensive climate legislation?