Updates: news releases and updates

The American Clean Energy and Security Act

Posted May. 15, 2009 / Posted by: RConnors

On Wednesday, we released a joint statement with Greenpeace and Public Citizen to express our concern about disturbing changes to the new climate bill currently being discussed in Congress:

We are extremely troubled by the reports coming out of the Energy and Commerce Committee last night on additional compromises to the already flawed American Clean Energy & Security Act. The world needs real leadership from Congress and the Administration to address global warming — action that will enable us to transform our economy with clean, renewable energy technology, new green jobs and show leadership internationally. If reports are true, the compromises being struck on the bill undermine these goals.

While we don't have the bill in our hands yet, what we are hearing from the Hill is not promising. The whole point of climate and energy legislation is to stop the worst impacts of global warming by transitioning the United States to a clean energy economy and by laying the groundwork for an international response to this global problem. From what we've heard, the bill won't make us reduce our emissions fast enough to do our part to avoid the climate crisis.

On top of the emissions reductions targets being weak, offsets in the bill would create pollution loopholes that allow companies to continue polluting at their current levels by financing dubious projects here in the U.S. and in other countries.

And then the bill would give away too much to the big polluters and the industries that created this problem in the first place. Rather than investing enough in the solutions we need — renewable energy, energy efficiency, public transit, protections for low-income communities, and safeguards for those most vulnerable to climate impacts — Congress would give large portions of revenue away to polluting industries — to oil companies making record profits, to coal companies producing dirty coal, and to big auto companies manufacturing huge gas guzzlers.

Whether it’s because the oil and coal lobby is too strong, or because there is no one making enough noise demanding something better, the Democrats in Congress are compromising on our future. Meanwhile, the administration is already calling the draft a success, which makes it even more imperative for us to be outspoken about the dramatic changes needed.

Right now in Alaska, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri and West Virginia, the livelihoods of Americans are being torn apart by weather caused by dangerous new climate patterns. Across the globe, small island states are literally drowning — and people who live there have nowhere to go.

We can do better for our children and for our global community. We need the American public to tell Congress to stop giving away our money to the very people who put us here — to stop giving away our money to industry instead of to solving this crisis.

As soon as the bill comes out officially, we'll get to work on our analysis. If it's as bad as we think, we'll need you to help us by calling your member of Congress and telling them you demand better from them — that you want them to stand up to Big Oil and Big Coal and do what's needed to solve this crisis.

 

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