November 14, 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine), a member of the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus, has announced his support for the Cleaner, Quieter Airplanes Act, which would direct the National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA) to develop electric aircraft technology on an accelerated timeline. The legislation supports the U.S. aviation industry’s efforts to develop airplanes that produce 50 percent less greenhouse gas pollution and less noise, keeping domestic aviation companies competitive with the international industry.
“In the fight to reduce carbon emissions, we need to look at every segment of our society, and that includes our aviation industry,” said Senator King. “Moreover, noise pollution can highly affect people’s health and quality of life. NASA employs some of the brightest minds in the world – so let’s put them to work on a project of global urgency that reduces our environmental impact, improves our public health, and enhances the livability of our communities.”
This legislation sets a goal for cleaner, quieter airplanes by 2030 (regional transport planes) and 2040 (single-aisle planes), and it authorizes NASA to accelerate its work developing and demonstrating the technologies to make this goal a reality. The initiative established in this legislation will help drive industry growth and innovation, maintain our competitiveness with other countries that are moving aggressively on electrified propulsion technologies, and ensure that United States airlines can continue to fly with U.S.-generated technology to other countries as those countries adopt stricter standards for noise and emissions.
A forceful advocate for clean energy solutions wherever they can be found, Senator King is the lead sponsor on a range of bills that encourage energy efficiency such as the Next Generation Grid Resources and Infrastructure Development (GRID) Act to improve energy independence, foster innovation, and leverage federal resources to support a more resilient and modern electric grid. In June, Senator King joined his colleagues to introduce the Renewable Electricity Standard (RES) Act of 2019, to require electricity providers across the country to increase their supply of renewable energy each year – aiming to set a nationwide standard of 50% renewable electricity by 2035. In a May hearing, Senator King highlighted the grave dangers posed by rapidly rising carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the atmosphere, and emphasized the importance of global collaboration in order to fully and effectively respond to the threats of climate change. In April, he published a column on Earth Day laying out the ambitious and attainable steps America must take to respond to the challenges of climate change. In February, Senator King took to the Senate floor to urge action on climate change. He strongly opposed the Administration’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement.