Thursday, September 14, 2017 – 11:15am
OFF Act is the Strongest Climate/Energy Legislation in Congress; Would Mandate 100% Clean, Renewable Energy by 2035, Ban Fossil Fuel Exports, Ensure Environmental Justice
WASHINGTON – With the nation reeling from devastation brought by hurricanes and wildfires worsened by fossil fuel-driven climate change, more than 300 national, state and local groups are calling for the passage of the Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act (OFF Act), HR 3671. The bill, introduced recently by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), is the strongest, most aggressive climate and energy bill in Congress.
The bill is being backed by national groups including Food & Water Watch, Progressive Democrats of America, National Nurses United, Our Revolution, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Friends of the Earth, and Center for Biological Diversity.
“Now is the time for action. To date, over three hundred energy, climate change, and environmental justice organizations have backed my bill, H.R. 3671, the Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act (OFF Act), which paves the way for the United States to replace fossil fuels with 100 percent clean energy generation and use by 2035,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. “I call on my fellow lawmakers to stand together with the three hundred organizations that have already endorsed the OFF Act to protect the future for our people and our planet and put America on the path toward a clean, sustainable energy future.”
“As recent monster storms and raging wildfires clearly demonstrate, our climate crisis is acute. The latest science shows that to maintain a decent chance of avoiding deeper climate chaos, we must move off fossil fuels immediately and aggressively, and the transition needs to be complete by 2035,” said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch. “The OFF Act is the strongest, most comprehensive climate and energy legislation we’ve got, and we must mobilize to make it the law of the land before it’s too late.”
Among other things, the OFF Act would mandate: 100% clean, renewable energy-sourced electricity by 2035; 100% zero-emissions car sales by 2035; a halt on new fossil fuel projects and a ban on fossil fuel exports; and a strong focus on environmental and economic justice. Additionally, the bill ignores ineffective market-based schemes like carbon taxing and trading.
“Seeing so many organizations from all over the country sign on to support the OFF Act, HR3671, is reflective of the concern millions of Americans share about the health of our planet. It makes perfect sense to me that from small communities and large urban areas, Americans understand that in order to address the climate emergency with an appropriate level of urgency, we must take effective, rapid action to get off fossil fuels,” said Donna Smith of Progressive Democrats of America.
“Nurses know from first-hand experience the disease, displacement and suffering caused by our increasingly dangerous dependence on fossil fuels. The tragedies of latest super storms Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, intensified by climate change, which brought not only deaths and pain, but long term health risks, are just the latest signal of the need for urgent action now. We need bold and transformative policy solutions to make the changes necessary to our energy system that will set us on the path to a solution to climate disruption and support the building of a sustainable economy. The OFF Act is just such a policy. In it are the seeds of a healthier and more just society for ourselves and the generations to come. As climate first responders, we as nurses urge everyone to support this bill and work for its passage as if our lives depended on it — because they do,” said Jean Ross, RN, co-president of National Nurses United.
“Communities all over Florida are reeling from historic flooding, damaged homes and neighborhoods because of the impacts of monster storm Irma. It is imperative we act now to address the impacts of climate change. This bill allows for just that. Earth Ethics/Earth Action applauds the legislators and supporters of HR 3671 who have the courage and fortitude needed to move forward with addressing this global issue,” said Mary Gutierrez, executive director of Earth Ethics.
“With the Off Fossil Fuels for a Better Future Act, Representative Gabbard has developed a plan that will allow the American people and our economy to thrive with clean energy. It is past time to close tax loopholes for dirty energy companies and to slam the door shut on the future of industries that have recklessly polluted our lands, water and air,” said Ben Schreiber, Senior Political Strategist, Friends of the Earth.
“This historic legislative proposal is exactly what we need to get off our addiction to dirty fossil fuels in a way that will create more jobs and help prevent natural disasters,” said Bill Snape, senior counsel with the Center for Biological Diversity.