Washington, D.C. – Today, the House of Representatives passed the Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act, which includes legislation Rep. Mike Levin (D-CA) introduced to create a spent nuclear fuel research and development program at the Department of Energy, improve wildfire smoke emissions modeling and develop better smoke forecasts, and promote the development of renewable energy on public lands. Overall, the Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act develops renewable and distributed energy resources, improves energy efficiency in homes and businesses, helps electrify the transportation sector, modernizes the grid, reduces carbon pollution, prioritizes the needs of environmental justice communities, and more.
In response to California’s worsening wildfires and unhealthy air, Rep. Levin offered an amendment to the bill that establishes a program to improve wildfire smoke emissions modeling and to develop smoke forecasts at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The amendment also directs the Environmental Protection Agency to collect data and coordinate research on the impacts of acute air pollution exposure from wildfires. Recent reporting by the Los Angeles Times and others revealed that public health experts and scientists lack much-needed data on the long-term health effects of exposure to wildfire smoke.
The bill also includes Rep. Levin’s Spent Nuclear Fuel Solutions Research and Development Act to foster innovation in the storage and disposal of spent nuclear fuel. The legislation creates a spent nuclear fuel research and development program at the Department of Energy, which would support options for dry cask storage, consolidated interim storage, deep geological storage and disposal, and used nuclear fuel transportation. In total, the program would be authorized at more than $500 million over five years.
Several provisions from Rep. Levin’s Public Land Renewable Energy Development Act were also included in the legislation. Specifically, the legislation includes a goal to produce 25 gigawatts of renewable energy on public lands by 2025 and creates priority areas for solar, wind, and geothermal development on public lands.