It's 2009. Democrats have ample majorities in both houses of Congress. President Obama campaigned on the promise to tackle climate change and boost our economy by investing in clean energy.
So why on earth is Congress considering an energy bill that:
- Would weaken current law, repealing President Obama's authority to crack down on dirty power plants, and
- Doesn't actually require the creation of new solar or wind power? (The Union of Concerned Scientists has concluded that the clean energy standards won't make power companies produce more clean energy than is already in the works.)
Why? Because Big Oil and Coal have teamed up with conservatives in both parties, and they've been successful in weakening the bill.
These are major flaws, but the bill has a lot of really good provisions, too. The key thing is that Congress can still strengthen it—if there's a public outcry. But we don't have much time: Congress is expected to vote on this bill in less than three weeks.
Can you sign this petition to Representative Dave Loebsack today? Eighty thousand MoveOn members have already signed. We need to double the number of signatures by Wednesday—that means we need 41 more signatures in Iowa City. MoveOn members will personally deliver this petition to many congressional offices the next day. Click here to add your name:
The petition says: "We need a stronger energy bill to fulfill Obama's vision of a clean energy economy. Congress should strengthen the clean energy standards and restore Obama's authority to crack down on dirty coal plants."
Congress must change the energy bill to require power companies to produce more clean energy for America. Wind and solar create more than twice as many jobs as coal and oil.3 And Congress needs to hold polluters accountable by restoring President Obama's current authority through the EPA to crack down on global warming pollution from power plants.
The Union of Concerned Scientists analysis finds that the current version of the clean energy standard "won't require utilities to use any more renewable electricity than...would be generated as a result of state renewable electricity standards already in place and the recently enacted stimulus package."4
If we just sit back, we'll miss our chance to go big with wind and solar—and we'll lose the jobs those industries would create. Big Oil and Coal will keep getting billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies. And President Obama will be powerless to stop more than 100 new dirty coal plants, which will crowd out the clean energy growth we need to boost our economy.5
There are some good parts of the bill, but these are significant problems. As the Sierra Club's Carl Pope writes, the bill establishes strong long-term goals for cutting carbon pollution and very strong energy-efficiency investments, "but in its present form, it won't do all that's needed. The oil, coal, and dirty-utility interests...were able to prevent enactment of President Obama's much bolder vision...Yes, they will try to kill the green-jobs recovery in its cradle, and yes, they will try to block our clean-energy future."6
Please urge Rep. Loebsack to fight for a stronger energy bill. Clicking here will add your name to the petition:
Thanks for all you do.
–Anna, Michael, Joan, Noah and the rest of the team
1. "Bill Needs Strengthening to Guarantee Necessary Carbon Reductions, New Green Jobs and Consumer Benefits, Science Group Says," Union of Concerned Scientists, May 14, 2009
2. "EPA urged to act on climate, not wait for Congress," Associated Press, May 18, 2009
"American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009," Library of Congress, May 15, 2009
3. "Green Recovery: A Program to Create Good Jobs and Start Building a Low-Carbon Economy," Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, September 2008
4. "Bill Needs Strengthening to Guarantee Necessary Carbon Reductions, New Green Jobs and Consumer Benefits, Science Group Says," Union of Concerned Scientists, May 14, 2009
5. "Stopping the Coal Rush," Sierra Club
6. "So How Good Is This Climate Bill, Anyhow?" Sierra Club, May 22, 2009
Tuesday, June 9
MoveOn This If You Want Wind and Solar Power
MoveOn asked that bloggers like myself post this request: