Washington, D.C. — Today, Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) introduced a measure that would help support communities facing economic hardship as the nation transitions to clean energy. The National Energy Community Transition Act is the first proposal to address the loss of public revenue that occurs when major fossil fuel facilities such as power plants, refineries, and mines shut down. The bill recognizes that public revenue is essential to having good schools, parks, libraries, public health care, and other services essential for community well-being.
Many states currently depend on royalties from drilling, mining, and the burning of fossil fuels to fund their annual budgets. This dependence on annual fossil fuel revenue can slow growth, interrupt economic diversification, and discourage communities from supporting critical climate policies. In response, Mark Haggerty, senior fellow in the Energy and Environment department at the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:
This first-of-its-kind federal proposal is the outcome of Sen. Bennet sitting down with rural and energy-dependent communities and listening to their needs and concerns. It delivers the certainty and stability that rural communities have asked for and allows them to diversify and transition their economies without putting essential services at risk. Moreover, the proposal takes an important step toward breaking the unsustainable link between fossil fuel revenue and state budgets.
As utilities, companies, states, and the federal government chart a path toward a clean energy future, now is the time to ensure that our communities have the resources and resilience they need to participate in the economy of tomorrow. Sen. Bennet’s plan is a landmark step toward rebuilding trust in Congress for rural and energy-dependent communities.
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