Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43), Chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, issued the following statement following the House passage of H.R. 4447, the Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act, which included four amendments offered by Congresswoman Waters.
“The passage of this bill and the adoption of my four amendments are an incredible step forward in our efforts to secure a clean energy future that will help clean up communities, protect our environment, and create new jobs for generations to come.
“From the widespread destruction caused by natural disasters to the crippling effects of polluters releasing harmful emissions into the air our children breathe, we must urgently work toward a more sustainable and inclusive future. All four of my amendments will help to achieve that goal by ensuring that underserved communities – including the minority- and women-owned businesses serving them and the low-income families living in them – are included in this better and brighter future.
“If we are to be successful in our efforts to transition to a clean energy economy, we must make certain that low-income communities and communities of color are not left behind.”
Congresswoman Waters’ first amendment to H.R. 4447 improves the Department of Energy’s State Leadership Grant program, which enables states to develop projects that increase the use of smart technology in manufacturing, including artificial intelligence, robotics, cyber security, and blockchain technology. This amendment requires the Department of Energy, when considering applications for these grants, to consider how a state’s proposed project will impact underserved communities before approving any proposed projects.
Congresswoman Waters’ second amendment to H.R. 4447 makes changes to the Secretary of Transportation’s report on electric vehicle (EV) charging station infrastructure in underserved communities. Her amendment strengthens the report by requiring the Secretary to identify how small and disadvantaged businesses, including minority- and women-owned businesses, can be contracted to install EV charging stations in these communities.
Congresswoman Waters’ third amendment to H.R. 4447 ensures that diverse contractors and firms are considered for the design and construction of the training and assessment centers at institutions of higher education under the Department of Energy’s Training Center Contract Grants program.
Congresswoman Waters’ fourth amendment to H.R. 4447, offered as Chair of the Financial Services Committee, ensures that manufactured and multifamily housing is included in the Home Energy Savings Retrofit Rebate Program. Any program that helps subsidize residential energy efficiency upgrades and retrofits must include manufactured homes and multifamily apartment buildings whose residents experience some of the highest energy costs in the nation.