As President Biden prepares to announce a U.S. emissions pledge, a group of electricity companies sent him a letter urging the president to set clean energy standard (CES) goal of reducing the industry’s carbon emissions by 2030.
The coalition of thirteen power companies, which includes PSEG, Exelon Corp. and Talen Energy Corp., proposed a goal similar to one set by environmental advocacy group Evergreen Action in February.
“A federal policy framework can be designed to support the power sector’s deployment of strategies that are technically feasible, ensure reliability, and maintain affordability for customers,” the letter read, according to a copy obtained by Reuters.
During the presidential campaign, Biden pledged to transition the country to 100 percent clean electricity by 2035, and he has said that addressing climate change will be a top priority for his administration.
To achieve the goal of net-zero emissions, power companies would use a number of reduction strategies such as switching to wind, solar-generated or nuclear energy. There are also proposals for capturing emissions from coal and natural gas plants so they don’t enter the atmosphere, though these technologies have not yet been demonstrated on the scale of solar or wind power.
Biden has already shown his intent to establish a CES in his recently unveiled infrastructure plan, which earned praise from environmental groups.
“By expanding the supply of clean energy on our grid, a CES will cut the soot and smog threatening our health and the carbon pollution driving the climate crisis,” the National Resource Defense Council said of Biden’s infrastructure plan. The environmental group also estimated that two CES proposals introduced in Congress last year would prevent between 3,000 and 7,000 premature deaths each year.
In addition to focusing on U.S. emissions, Biden also intends to call on all major world economies to join him in slashing greenhouse gas emissions over the next decade. According to the Guardian, Biden and climate envoy John Kerry intend to host a virtual summit of 40 world leaders to recommit to the 2015 Paris agreement.