Energy (July 2009)

Green bank a win-win for our nation

Now that the House of Representatives has passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act, the Senate has its chance to make history by creating new clean energy jobs and beginning the process of saving our planet from the harmful effects of carbon pollution. The bill that House Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry A. Waxman (D-CA) and House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming Chairman Edward J. Markey (D-MA) shepherded through the House isn’t as ambitious as some progressives would like, but it does put the nation finally on the road to a clean energy future.

Offshore wind must be integral part of nation's energy mix

As Congress works on the issues of carbon emissions and energy security, one of the measures that has moved to the forefront in both the House and Senate bills is a provision that would establish a national renewable energy standard (RES).  If it becomes law, the RES would require power companies to generate approximately 15-20 percent (depending on the legislation’s final outcome) of their energy from renewable sources and energy efficiency by 2021.

Dependence on foreign energy a crucial issue

Lost in the din of the debate this summer over how to improve and strengthen America’s healthcare system is the other national crisis that America can no longer afford to ignore: our dependence on foreign energy.

Senate measure would accelerate the revolution in clean technology

While the Senate is currently focused on our nation’s challenges with healthcare, later this year it will turn to another issue with profound ramifications for economic and human health: transitioning to a secure energy future that avoids catastrophic climate change. The market’s failures to appropriately value climate protection, and our longstanding underinvestment in clean new energy technologies, are dangers to both our economic security and our environmental future.

Nuclear power: A cleaner future at home and abroad

As the U.S Congress struggles with energy legislation and legislation promoted by its authors as affecting the earth’s climate, we cannot forget that access to affordable and reliable energy supplies allowed the U.S. to become the most productive nation ever. Our standard of living is the envy of the world because we allowed free markets to create competition and innovation. This phenomenal success would be greatly jeopardized by policies that constrain energy supplies or inflate costs. Nuclear power provides an opportunity for the U.S. to reassert our technological leadership in ways that both help our economy and reduce global risks.

Don’t increase ethanol percentage in gasoline

With the passage of the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA), Congress doubled the corn-based ethanol mandate despite mounting questions surrounding ethanol’s compatibility with existing engines, its transportation and infrastructure needs, its economic sustainability, and numerous other issues.

Nations aggressive on climate change will be the ones that lead, and prosper

Today we are faced with two historic challenges — a deep economic recession and the threat of unchecked global warming. But if we act now to set America on a course for a clean energy future, we can build the foundation for lasting economic recovery and energy independence as we protect our children from pollution. This is because when we unleash the American innovative spirit, we will drive economic growth and create jobs and whole new industries right here at home.

A responsible and balanced approach to America’s goals

The approval by the House of Representatives of the American Clean Energy and Security Act on June 26 represents our nation’s first significant step toward enactment of a program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. I supported passage of the measure. While some improvements can and should be made to the legislation as it moves through the Senate and conference, the legislation considered by the House achieves our fundamental goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions at an affordable price. It is a responsible and carefully balanced measure.

False choice pits economy against the environment

Over the course of more than 20 years in environmental protection, I’ve seen countless situations where environmental priorities have been put on hold out of fear for how they might affect economic growth. The incompatibility of our economy and our environment is the false argument people have used for decades to hold up important environmental efforts. And it’s the same tired argument many are using today to try and block the American Clean Energy and Security Act in Congress.

Industry leaders: If Brazil can do it, then so can America

In today’s economy, no country has been immune to the global recession that has roiled financial markets and hurt people’s pocketbooks. Yet, Brazil has been one of the last nations to be hampered by the recession and many experts anticipate that Brazil will be one of the first countries to pull itself out of the current economic mess. While its government has pursued a host of economic stimulus policies, one of the key reasons that Brazil has been able to escape the meltdown relatively unscathed is its energy independence.

Industry leaders: NAT GAS Act exemplifies bipartisan efforts

I have been coming to Washington for more than 40 years. No matter which party is in power, that party claims it is being bipartisan, and the other group says it is not being allowed into the deal. Once in a great while an issue gets to the point where the usual automatic partisan positions are left behind.

Waxman-Markey bill: All pain, no gain

Republicans want clean, American, affordable energy that protects jobs and family budgets. What Republicans cannot support are higher energy prices that will result in new taxes, lost jobs, and unfairly hurting America’s heartland while helping send jobs to China and India.

Ethanol was green before green was cool

Capitol Hill and Washington, D.C. are abuzz with “green” energy. Green jobs, green restaurants and a green power plant are all the rage.

Cap-and-trade bill will cut jobs, not emissions

The swift passage of the Waxman-Markey “cap and trade” bill by the House of Representatives has left Americans asking what it will mean for both our environment and for our economy. Many promises have been made that this legislation will lead to an influx in green jobs while curbing greenhouse gas emissions. In February, we heard similar job-creation claims made about the economic stimulus package, but our nation’s unemployment rate is now approaching 10 percent. Is cap and trade now the latest answer to our country’s problems?

Pelosi’s tax measure would kill jobs, raise utility prices

All year long, Democrats have made promises about job creation. They promised unemployment would not rise above 8 percent if Congress passed the trillion-dollar “stimulus.” It now stands at 9.5 percent nationally — and 15 states already face double-digit unemployment. In the wake of Congress’s record spending binge, the American people are asking, “Where are the jobs?”