“States have historically been where it’s happening in terms of ambitious goals and just driving a lot of progress,” Searson said. Still, it’s hard to imagine a federal standard taking hold in the current political atmosphere, she said. “The politics are just tough.”
House and Senate legislation
Reps. David B. McKinley, R-W.Va., and Kurt Schrader, D-Ore., introduced a bipartisan bill in December to create a clean electricity standard that would cut 80 percent of greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector by 2050.
Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., introduced legislation, also in the 116th Congress, to create a national clean electricity standard. A spokesman for DeGette, Ryan Brown, said she plans to refile it this Congress as a bipartisan bill.
“Our understanding is that, in releasing his proposal, the president has laid out a broad vision for a clean energy standard and is counting on Congress to fill in the details,” Brown said. DeGette is “working to reintroduce that legislation again soon.”
Separately, Sens. Tina Smith, D-Minn., and Ben Ray Luján, D-N.M., are expected to introduce their own clean electricity standard bill this Congress. The pair introduced a set of bills in May 2019, when he was in the House, to slash emissions from the power sector roughly 80 percent by 2035, versus 2005 levels, a less aggressive trajectory than what Biden called for.