Rush Introduces Legislation To Bolster Equity and Justice at the Department of Energy

Feb 26, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Representative Bobby L. Rush (D-Ill.) announced the introduction of H.R. 1375, the Energy Equity Act of 2021.  This legislation amends the Department of Energy Organization Act to establish an Office of Energy Equity at the Department of Energy (DOE).  The office would promote environmental justice strategies, reduce or stabilize energy costs within underserved or disadvantaged communities, and increase the availability of clean energy solutions within underserved or disadvantaged communities.

“The ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the recent events in Texas further demonstrate that access to energy is a basic, essential need.  This is especially true for those within our nation’s most vulnerable communities that continue to carry the financial and physical health burdens associated with air pollution, energy generation, and climate change generally,” said Rush.

“With this in mind, we must ensure that principles of equity and justice are paramount in the federal government’s efforts to deploy clean energy solutions to ease climate change and establish a clean economy for all.  The introduction of the Energy Equity Act of 2021, and the creation of the Office of Energy Equity, would support DOE in bolstering this vital mission.”

Rush serves as the Chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce’s Subcommittee on Energy.  On October 1, 2020, Rush held a hearing entitled “Generating Equity: Improving Clean Energy Access and Affordability” to address access to clean and affordable energy within vulnerable communities.  Prior to this, the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis’s report recommended that Congress create an office to ensure that environmental justice communities have access to energy efficiency and renewable energy to reduce energy poverty. Rush’s bill would implement this recommendation.