Lipinski Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Combat Climate Change (February 22, 2018)

Reps. Dan Lipinski (IL-3) and John Faso (NY-19) have introduced the bipartisan Challenges and Prizes for Climate Act of 2018 to spur innovation in key areas critical to combating climate change.  The legislation, which takes advantage of existing federal prize authority, encourages public-private partnerships, pays only for performance, and accelerates technology and market development.

“Clean energy prize competitions have the potential to yield major technological advances and transform industries and markets,” said Rep. Lipinski.  “A prize that I championed a few years ago has led to a quantum leap in hydrogen fuel cell car refueling technology, and there’s another competition that’s currently in progress that has already identified 23 technologies that can convert carbon dioxide emissions from power plants and industrial facilities into useful products.”

“Increased efficiency and continued technological innovation in clean energy will help the U.S. economy grow in the coming decades,” said Rep. Faso.  “We should do all we can to incentivize progress and assist the private sector economy in innovating and inspiring technological changes which will reduce the impact of climate change.  This legislation is a step in the right direction in terms of incentivizing real progress through public-private partnerships.  I am happy to join Rep. Lipinski in introducing this bill.”

The legislation would direct the Secretary of Energy to establish a program called “Climate Solutions Challenges,” which will organize prize competitions on five topics, including carbon capture, energy efficiency, energy storage, climate resiliency, and data analytics to better understand climate or weather, or to better inform the public about those topics.

Joining Reps. Lipinski and Faso on this important legislation are Climate Solutions Caucus members Reps. Crist, Curbelo, Murphy, and Ros-Lehtinen.  In keeping with the bipartisan spirit of the Caucus, the bill has an equal number of Democratic and Republican cosponsors.

“America is strongest when our brightest minds compete to generate innovative solutions for the challenges we face like climate change,” said Rep. Charlie Crist (FL-13).  “Through public-private partnerships, the Climate Solutions Challenges program would encourage new technologies promoting resiliency and energy efficiency as we work together to tackle the threat our changing climate poses to our global community.  By harnessing the tremendous talent and drive of our STEM community, we can build a more sustainable future.”

“We applaud the introduction of Rep. Lipinski and Rep. Faso’s bipartisan Challenges and Prizes for Climate Act of 2018,” stated the Friends Committee on National Legislation organization.  “Innovative solutions will be a crucial part of mitigating climate change, making our communities more resilient, and being good stewards of God’s Creation.  There is a growing need for research, development, and deployment of new renewable energy technologies, and this bill is an important step.”

“Creativity and partnerships are critical to addressing our climate challenges,” said Alliance to Save Energy President Kateri Callahan.  “Congressmen Lipinski and Faso's proposed Climate Solutions Challenge will use the power of competition to bring forward the most impactful and innovative solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  The Alliance is particularly pleased that the Congressmen recognize energy efficiency as a key lever for protecting our environment, while also driving energy productivity and prosperity.”

“America needs bipartisan approaches to climate change like investing in clean energy technology,” said David Yarnold, President and CEO of the National Audubon Society.  “Our changing climate is the biggest threat facing America’s people and birds.  We don’t have time to waste, and we can’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.  It’s time to start with meaningful solutions like this legislation.”

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