Monthly Archives: January 2010

More Voices Add to the Chorus: Give Us a Job-Creating Climate Bill

The State of the Union is the main topic of conversation this week, but President Obama wasn’t the only one who had strong words about climate legislation.

First, 17  U.S. Senators sent a letter to President Obama [PDF ]asking him to put “clean energy and climate legislation capable of creating new economic opportunities” at the top of his list of priorities for this year.  The letter says:

Legislation that invests in clean energy and puts a meaningful limit on carbon pollution will be a major job creator.

Obviously, from what we heard Wednesday night, they’ll get no argument from the President on that point.

Second, a group of almost three dozen environmental, labor, faith and civic groups called on Senate leaders to avoid the trap of an “energy-only” bill and instead pass strong legislation that includes a cap on carbon pollution.

In a letter to the Senate leaders [PDF], Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, the groups — including EDF — say an energy bill alone would be “just more of the same” at a time when our economy needs a new direction.

The letter points out that the U.S. passed major energy-only bills in 2005 and 2007 that haven’t done much to stimulate the economy, and says:

Energy and climate legislation must be connected and comprehensive to create the opportunity to build a new clean energy economy that secures our energy supplies, fosters innovation, and creates the new jobs we so desperately need here in the U.S.

One more note: in an earlier post we told you about USCAP’s new ad campaign. This week, Peter Molinaro talked to PBS’s Judy Woodruff about those ads, USCAP’s other work, and why big businesses like his Dow Chemical are pushing for climate and clean energy legislation, in partnership with environmental groups. You can watch that interview on PBS’s web site.

Posted in Climate Change Legislation, News / Comments are closed

Rolling Stone Calls out “The Climate Killers”

YouIdiotsThe latest cover of Rolling Stone magazine didn’t feature an indie star or up-and-coming talent.  Instead, a simple black background pushed forward the words “YOU IDIOTS: meet the planet’s worst enemies” and drew readers’ attention to climate change.

The 13-page article went through the latest chapter in climate legislation, without pulling any punches.  It called out every major obstacle to climate legislation from the Heritage Foundation’s disinformation to the “17 polluters and deniers who are derailing efforts to curb global warming.”  (Two EDF experts were quoted in the piece as well: our president, Fred Krupp, and chief economist, Dan Dudek.)

While Rolling Stone writer Tim Dickinson captures a lot of the frustration felt in the climate campaign, he misses the mark when it comes to his closing. “The battle over global warming may already be over,” he writes. “Where are the crowds marching the streets?” he asks.

We are here.

Well, we may not always be in the streets — but we are in the halls of Congress, pushing for action.  And the front lines are packed with some unusual allies — steel-town mayor John Fettterman, companies and labor unions, EDF climate activists (add your voice!), and many more. This week, President Obama, too, reminded Congress that they are not done.

This fight is far from over.

Posted in News, What Others are Saying / Comments are closed

Video: The Facts of Cap and Trade, From an Economist

EDF is known for unconventional tactics. We often experiment with new ideas to find the ways that work. However, this time I had a chance to do something truly off-the-wall.

I was asked to make a video with the coalition Clean Energy Works that explains cap and trade in a way that non-economists could understand, i.e., in English.  (And with clever animation.)

What were they thinking?

Maybe the idea was just crazy enough to work. Here are a couple of reactions so far:

Check it out, let us know what you think, and spread the word.

Posted in Economics / Read 4 Responses

Climate, Clean Energy and the State of the Union

When I turned on the State of the Union speech last night, I planned to listen very closely so I could hear any mention of a climate and clean energy bill.

Turns out I didn’t have to work that hard. President Obama talked about clean energy — and its potential to create jobs — throughout the speech.

Here are some of the most relevant quotes:

We can put Americans to work today building the infrastructure of tomorrow … There’s no reason Europe or China should have the fastest trains, or the new factories that manufacture clean energy products.

We should put more Americans to work building clean energy facilities, and give rebates to Americans who make their homes more energy efficient, which supports clean energy jobs.

Germany’s not waiting.  India’s not waiting … They are making serious investments in clean energy because they want those jobs.

We need to encourage American innovation … And no area is more ripe for such innovation than energy.  You can see the results of last year’s investment in clean energy – in the North Carolina company that will create 1200 jobs nationwide helping to make advanced batteries; or in the California business that will put 1,000 people to work making solar panels.

But to create more of these clean energy jobs, we need more production, more efficiency, more incentives.  That means building a new generation of safe, clean nuclear power plants in this country.  It means making tough decisions about opening new offshore areas for oil and gas development. It means continued investment in advanced biofuels and clean coal technologies.  And yes, it means passing a comprehensive energy and climate bill with incentives that will finally make clean energy the profitable kind of energy in America.

I am grateful to the House for passing such a bill last year.  This year, I am eager to help advance the bipartisan effort in the Senate.  I know there have been questions about whether we can afford such changes in a tough economy; and I know that there are those who disagree with the overwhelming scientific evidence on climate change.  But even if you doubt the evidence, providing incentives for energy efficiency and clean energy are the right thing to do for our future – because the nation that leads the clean energy economy will be the nation that leads the global economy.  And America must be that nation.

The speech got a good reception from most environmental groups. EDF’s president, Fred Krupp, said this:

President Obama got it right when he said we must pass ‘a comprehensive energy and climate bill with incentives that will finally make clean energy the profitable kind of energy in America.’ The American people want less imported oil, less pollution, and more jobs – and Congress can deliver all three by passing a real clean energy bill that puts a limit on carbon pollution.

If we’re serious about creating jobs, beating the Chinese and Europeans in this new global market, and cutting imported oil, then Congress needs to move forward without delay and pass strong clean energy legislation. A traditional bill that completely exempts big companies from any limits on carbon pollution is a non-starter; it simply will not solve our most pressing national challenges.

With all the divisions in Washington, this is an issue that should unite the two parties.  Both nominees in the last presidential election supported limits on carbon pollution, and legislators of both parties are now working to find a bipartisan solution. Americans want Congress find a way to cut imported oil, cut pollution, and create new jobs. Now it’s time to get the job done.

Posted in Climate Change Legislation, News / Comments are closed

New Ad Shows Broad Support for a Climate Bill

Thumbnail image of the ad showing broad support for climate change

Click the image for a larger view of the ad.

Anyone who doubts that climate legislation has broad-based support should take a close look at a new ad that’s running in the Wall Street Journal and Politico.

88 groups put their names — and logos — on the line to call for a bipartisan energy bill.

EDF is a participant of course, along with other environmental groups like NRDC and the Pew Center. But some of the others may surprise you: the Christian Coalition, Michelin, Campbell’s, the AFL-CIO,  Toyota, Owens Corning, Whirlpool.

The message from all of them:

We believe it’s time for Democrats and Republicans to unite behind bi-partisan, national energy and climate legislation that increases our security and limits emissions, as it preserves and creates jobs. It’s a question of American leadership.

If you don’t have a paper handy, take a closer look at the large and diverse group of clean energy champions here.

Posted in News / Read 10 Responses

Poll Results: The People Want a Climate Bill

Climate and clean energy legislation got strong support today from an unlikely source — Frank Luntz, the prominent Republican pollster.

Luntz’s firm, The Word Doctors, just finished a national poll of more than 1,000 American voters.  He unveiled the results of that poll [PDF] this morning at a news conference with EDF President Fred Krupp and NRG Energy’s CEO David Crane.

The bottom line: Americans are eager for Congress to act on climate legislation that would promote energy independence and a healthier environment.

Luntz says:

Americans want their leaders to act on climate change – but not necessarily for the reasons you think. A clear majority of Americans believe climate change is happening.  This is true of McCain voters and Obama voters alike.

And even those that don’t still believe it is essential for America to pursue policies that promote energy independence and a cleaner, healthier environment.

(You can play the audio of the entire event at the bottom of this post.)

Here are some of the most interesting results from the poll:

  • A majority of Americans believe climate change is occurring and is caused at least in part by humans. Only a small minority — 18 percent — do not believe climate change is real. (Those numbers stay about the same if you call it “global warming.”)
  • 57 percent agreed with the statement: It doesn’t matter if there is or isn’t climate change. It is still in America’s best interest to develop new sources of energy that are clean, reliable, efficient and safe.
  • National security is the main reason that people support cap and trade. Across the demographic board, people liked the idea that clean energy will: liberate us from this oil addiction.

This is the latest in a long line of polls that show Americans want clean energy. But Luntz’s reputation as longtime Republican advisor may give this one extra political resonance.

Luntz said his data shows  a bipartisan consensus on the issue and provides a road map for getting legislation passed.

EDF’s Fred Krupp summed it up:

Frank’s research proves that that no matter who Americans voted for in 2008, in 2010 they want to see Congress act on climate legislation.  It’s a national security priority, it’s a crucial means to reduce pollution, and it’s essential to creating permanent American jobs.

Complete audio recording of the news conference.

Posted in News / Read 14 Responses