Sens. Collins, Coons, Rockefeller, Isakson Introduce Bipartisan Bill To Spur Innovation, Create Jobs In Sustainable Chemistry

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), and Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) on Thursday introduced a bipartisan bill to spur innovation in the field of sustainable chemistry. The Sustainable Chemistry Research and Development Act would encourage the development and commercialization of high-performing chemicals, products, and processes that reduce or eliminate risk to human health and benefit the environment. Sustainable chemistry is an exciting field that can create jobs, keep America competitive, and spur economic growth.

“Spurring innovation to create good jobs and protect our health and environment should bring us all together,” said Senator Coons. “We can do much more to develop new ways to ensure the things all around us – from our laundry detergent to our shoes – are produced in a way that maintains their high quality and benefits our health and our planet. By creating a cohesive vision for our nation’s sustainable chemistry research and building new partnerships with the private sector, the bipartisan Sustainable Chemistry Research and Development Act is an exciting opportunity to create jobs, maintain our scientific leadership, and make America healthier and cleaner. Both parties can unite behind American health and competitiveness, and I look forward to working hard, together, to see our efforts through.”

“This bill promotes research, development and education programs to develop chemical processes that minimize the impact to our environment, and that can often end up saving companies money at the same time," said Senator Collins. “By helping encourage innovation in ‘sustainable chemistry’ through improved coordination on research, development, and commercialization, this bill will benefit public health and the environment while educating the next generation of chemistry professionals."

“I am excited to join Senators Coons, Collins, and Isakson in this effort to promote sustainable chemistry,” said Senator Rockefeller. “I know how important it is to develop effective chemicals that minimize hazards to human health and to the environment. By coordinating Federal research efforts in this area, the Sustainable Chemistry Research and Development Act of 2014 will support the American ingenuity needed to help make our industries safer and more efficient, and to stay globally competitive.”

The Sustainable Chemistry Research and Development Act would support sustainable chemistry research, development, technology transfer, commercialization, education, and training through federal grants and loans, targeted studies, partnerships with industry, and interagency coordination. Importantly, the bill does not include any regulatory components, nor does it authorize new spending. Its goal, rather, is to increase and coordinate federal activities in sustainable chemistry and encourage the private sector, academia, nonprofits, and the general public to innovate, develop, and bring to market innovative sustainable chemistry products and processes.

“The Delaware Sustainable Chemistry Alliance (DESCA) is committed to fostering sustainable innovation among key stakeholders in the public, private and academic sectors,” said Lori Palmer, President and Board Chair, DESCA. We believe efforts that will incentivize research and development in new technology will enhance economic development. DESCA fully supports the Sustainable Chemistry Act of 2014 as legislation necessary for growing sustainable innovation and entrepreneurship and creating high wage jobs.”

“I commend you for introducing this forward-looking bill, which will improve federal coordination and dissemination of green chemistry R&D and facilitate increased federal investment in this area,” said American Chemical Society President Tom Barton, “Your legislation will strengthen the government’s role as a true partner in promoting greener technologies. Such an interagency approach will broaden the focus of green chemistry R&D and make it more attractive to industry sectors.”

“EDF applauds Senator Coons for his leadership in promoting sustainable chemistry research and development,” said Richard Denison, Lead Senior Scientist, Environmental Defense Fund. “As we work to ensure that the chemicals in our homes, consumer products, and workplaces are safe for people and for the environment, we need to build our society’s capacity to develop and commercialize safer chemical innovations.”

The legislation is supported by the American Chemistry Council (ACC); the American Chemical Society (ACS); the American Sustainable Business Council (ASBC) Action Fund; the Delaware Sustainable Chemistry Alliance (DESCA); the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF); the Green Chemistry and Commerce Council (GC3); the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable (NPPR); The Renewable Chemicals and Materials Alliance (re:chem); Ashland; Dow Chemical; DuPont; Musea Ventures; Simply Sustain LLC; White Dog Labs; and Dr. Paul Anastas, Yale Center for Green Chemistry & Green Engineering.