WASHINGTON (June 24, 2009) -- Congressional leaders united today on Capitol Hill with representatives from diverse constituencies, including business, labor, faith, veterans, sportsmen, and environmental groups, to urge the House to pass the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES).
As a result of the strong consensus behind this legislation, leaders in the House have committed to moving forward with the bill, which is expected to come to a vote on Friday.
If passed, ACES would put us on a path to create millions of new jobs, boost production of clean energy, reduce dependence on oil, increase energy efficiency, and help to protect our planet for future generations. The bill would also stimulate billions of dollars of private investment in new technologies and industries, helping the United States to become a world leader in clean energy.
Earlier this week, a group of 29 environmental and public interest groups submitted a letter encouraging the House to strengthen and pass ACES. The letter reads, in part: “There are rare moments in American history when the urgency to act is clear, the stakes are high, the costs of inaction are untenable, and the need for courageous leadership is paramount. Now is one of those moments.”
Passage of this bill by the House will mark the first major action by Congress on President Obama’s top two legislative priorities and will be the first major step in getting a comprehensive clean energy bill to the President’s desk this year. The groups represented at the event look forward to working with the Senate in the weeks ahead to build on the framework of ACES to deliver on the promise of the clean energy economy.
Following are statements by representatives at today’s event supporting passage of clean energy and climate legislation (ACES):
“This landmark legislation will secure three critical public policy objectives. It puts us on a course, at long last, towards energy independence,” said Chairman Waxman. “It opens up a vast new sector of clean green energy technology, creating millions of jobs in renewable energy and energy-efficiency programs. It firmly tackles the threat we face from global warming pollution. We cannot defer this pressing agenda any longer, and we have a substantial and growing consensus behind this dynamic and innovative legislation.”
“The coalition backing clean-energy legislation is as broad and serious as the challenges we face from foreign oil dependence and global warming pollution,” said Chairman Markey. “The Waxman-Markey clean energy plan will reduce foreign oil imports and carbon pollution, while increasing clean energy jobs and American technological innovation.”
“Growing America's clean energy economy is the most effective way to revitalize American manufacturing,” said Blue Green Alliance Executive Director David Foster. “The ACES bill will help to create the good jobs we need to strengthen our economy and the middle class. However, if we fail to take action, America will continue to fall behind China and European countries in the race to create millions of clean energy manufacturing jobs.”
"Millions of hardworking women and men get up each day counting on our elected leaders to right this economy and help guarantee a better future for their children," said Anna Burger, Chair of Change to Win and International Secretary-Treasurer of the Service Employees International Union. "President Obama’s call for a comprehensive clean energy jobs plan does both. Now it's time for Congress to strengthen and pass the American Clean Energy & Security Act so we can start building the new clean energy economy without delay."
“As an investor I need to take a long term view,” said Spring Ventures founder Sunil Paul. “Until the government sets up clear regulations and incentives for clean energy, America's energy innovators won't be able to truly deliver on the promise of their ingenuity and build the growth industry of the 21st century.”
“I built a new solar business that is booming even in a recession,” said Bill Keith, President of SunRise Solar. “This is just the beginning as long as Congress passes the American Clean Energy and Security Act. America needs more both for our environment and for our economic bottom line.”
“Our addiction to foreign oil undermines our efforts to keep America strong and safe and free,” said Jon Soltz, Chairman of VoteVets. “Our men and women in uniform deserve an energy policy that enhances our national security by making us more energy independent.”
"The energy bill recognizes that we don't have to choose between doing what's right for our families and doing what's right for creation," said Sister Sharon Dillon of Catholics United. "As Catholics, we believe that we are better off when we understand that we're all in this together. We can put America back to work building the new energy economy while establishing a healthy and secure future for everyone."
“The clean energy industries believe that our nation cannot afford to wait for passage of H.R. 2454,” said Rhone Resch, President and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association. “The solar industry stands ready to create hundreds of thousands of new American jobs and unleash tens billions of investment dollars. The same is true for the energy efficiency and other renewable energy sectors, but we need action from Congress.”
"The House now has a historic opportunity to make the winning choice for our economy and our environment by voting ‘Yes’ for a clean energy future,” said Larry Schweiger, President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation. “ACES is the bill and now is the moment to put America on course for economic and energy security and a better tomorrow for our children.”