(C) Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM) speaks about the Senate Intelligence Committee findings and recommendations on threats to election infrastructure on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., March 20, 2018. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
(Reuters) – Democratic U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich on Tuesday introduced a resolution calling for policies to accelerate the widespread electrification of the economy and slash the use of fossil fuels.
The move comes as congressional Democrats are seeking to advance President Joe Biden’s $2 trillion infrastructure plan to build out clean energy and combat climate change. The plan has faced resistance from Republicans over the price tag, scope and funding.
Heinrich’s non-binding Electrifying America’s Future resolution includes calls for electrifying polluting sectors like construction and transportation, expanding interregional transmission capacity, boosting financing for electric technologies and modernizing building codes to encourage adoption of electric appliances.
“This must be informing our decisions about infrastructure,” Heinrich said at a press conference to unveil the resolution.
Electrifying infrastructure would deploy existing, proven technologies and create millions of good-paying union jobs, he said.
Proponents of switching high-emitting industries to run on electricity want buildings, vehicles and machinery to be powered by an emissions-free grid rather than oil or natural gas. The fossil fuel industry says many emerging electric technologies are simply unaffordable.
The aim of policies focused on electrification, Heinrich said, is to make sure that appliances like heat pump water heaters, which run on electricity, are widely available to businesses and consumers.
“If you don’t have the heat pump water heater on the back of the truck it’s not going in the house,” he said. “We need to figure out all of these friction points and use the jobs and infrastructure package to solve these friction points.”
U.S. Democrat unveils resolution to electrify the economy
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