Coalition of state lawmakers calls for clean energy and climate bill | KEYE Austin - Green Right Now Austin News, Weather, Traffic KEYE-TV Austin - HOME
Jan 272010

From Green Right Now Reports

The Coalition of Legislators for Energy Action Now (CLEAN), a national bipartisan group of state legislators working with the White House to pass federal clean energy jobs legislation, sent a letter to members of the United States Senate today pressing for urgent action on pending clean energy jobs and climate change legislation.

The letter, signed by 1,198 state lawmakers from both parties and 49 states, seeks energy reform legislation that would meet three goals:

  • Strengthen America’s national security by cutting dependence on foreign oil
  • Grow jobs and economic opportunity to every state in the nation
  • Protect the environment by major reductions in greenhouse gas emissions

“Until now, states have been carrying the torch on clean energy reform,” state Rep. Jeremy Kalin (D –Minnesota), the chair of CLEAN, said in a statement. “State legislators have led the way on growing clean energy jobs and addressing climate change. Our ‘Made-in-America’ clean energy solutions are the key to our economic prosperity and national security. It’s time for Congress to pick up the torch and lead America into the 21st-century clean energy economy.”

The Pew Center on the States found that clean energy job growth has outpaced the rest of the economy by almost 250 percent, with benefits in every state. In December 2009, the Environment America Research and Policy Center showed that by 2020 state policies already adopted will reduce global warming pollution approximately 7 percent below 2007 levels.

The organization of state legislators believes that comprehensive federal legislation can build on the clean energy progress made in states.

“The actions America takes, or does not take, to transform its energy infrastructure will have an impact on American life that cannot be overstated,” state Rep. Cynthia Thielen (R – Hawaii), assistant minority leader in the Hawaii House of Representatives, said in a statement. “As has so often been the case throughout our nation’s great history, those actions will have profound effects across the global landscape as well. Not since the era of industrialization has technological change held such importance in our planet’s fate, and the fate of its people.”

Federal clean energy jobs legislation is pending in the U.S. Senate, led by Sen. John Kerry (D – Massachusetts) and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R – South Carolina).

You can read a draft of the letter online, as well as see a  list of state legislators who signed it.