April 21, 2009
CONTACT: Josh Dorner, 202.675.2384
House Begins Historic Week of Action on Clean Energy Jobs Plan
Sierra Club Launching “The Broken Record” to Catalogue, Respond to Lies, Mistruths, and Distortions by Defenders of Dirty Energy
Washington, D.C. -- The House Energy & Commerce Committee today launched a marathon series of hearings on the clean energy jobs plan, the American Clean Energy & Security Act, currently being drafted by the Committee’s Chairman, Representative Henry Waxman, and the Chairman of the Energy and Environment Subcommittee, Representative Ed Markey. The hearings, which began today and continue through Friday, April 25, will feature more than 50 witnesses, including EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Vice President Al Gore, and numerous other leaders from the environmental community, business, organized labor, consumer groups, and faith and social justice organizations. This week’s hearing mark the formal start to the legislative process in the House of Representatives and put the committee on track to achieve the Chairman’s goal of reporting out a clean energy jobs bill by Memorial Day.
"Chairman Waxman has laid out an aggressive schedule and this ambitious set of hearings underscores both the seriousness of the challenges before us and the seriousness of his intentions to address them," said Carl Pope, Sierra Club Executive Director. "The extraordinary group of people testifying before the Committee demonstrates the breadth and depth of support for immediate action on this plan to create millions of new clean energy jobs and slash our dependence on dirty coal and oil. The American people are clamoring for clean energy and we are pleased that Congress is now ready to deliver."
Details about the hearings and a complete witness list can be found at:
The Broken Record
The Sierra Club is today launching a new project called "The Broken Record" in order to call attention to the campaign of outright lies, distortions, and mistruths that defenders of the dirty energy status quo are using to try and stop Congress from passing a clean energy jobs plan. Sierra Club staff and grassroots activists, working in coordination with the Sierra Student Coalition, will monitor these and other upcoming hearings and report on the goings-on in real time at the Sierra Club’s blog, Compass (www.sierraclub.org/compass). The Sierra Student Coalition and its allies will also be providing live updates via Twitter (follow @PowerShift09). Daily previews and a nightly round-up will also be distributed to the media and posted online at www.sierraclub.org/pressroom. The Sierra Club and Sierra Student Coalition will also be mobilizing grassroots activists in the districts of Energy and Commerce Committee members.
"The opponents of this clean energy jobs plan are like a broken record," said Pope. "They have been using the same discredited attacks and scare tactics for years. We think enough is enough and it’s time to shine a spotlight on those standing in the way of the clean energy future."
A Clean Energy Jobs Plan Will Help the U.S.
According to a large consensus of scientists, our planet is heating up to increasingly dangerous levels. We need to act now to protect our environment and to protect the health of our children and grandchildren.
Passing a clean energy jobs plan will shift American energy production toward cleaner, cheaper sources like wind and solar; create millions of new clean energy jobs; reduce our dependence on oil; reduce the carbon pollution that causes global warming, and protect our planet for future generations.
The draft Clean Energy Jobs Plan will create more jobs:
-According to a Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) analysis of a renewable electricity standard, similar to the one included in the draft Clean Energy Jobs Plan, requiring all utilities to obtain 25 percent of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2025 would add 200,000 jobs to the economy. (1)
-According to the University of Massachusetts’s Political Economy Research Institute, investments in wind and solar power create nearly 3 times as many jobs as the same investment in coal; mass transit and conservation would create nearly 4 times as many jobs as coal. (2)
-A new report by Greenpeace and the European Renewable Energy Council projects that use of off-the-shelf clean energy technology would create 14.5 million more new jobs by 2050 than would be created by meeting our energy needs with continued dependence on fossil fuels. (3)
The draft Clean Energy Jobs Plan will save consumers money:
-The same UCS analysis said a 25 percent RES will save consumers $64.3 billion in lower electricity and natural gas bills. An American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) analysis said an energy efficiency standard will save customers $168 billion through 2020. (4)
The draft Clean Energy Jobs Plan will generate more income:
-The UCS analysis also found that this renewable electricity standard would generate $13.5 billion in new income for farmers, ranchers and rural landowners.
The draft Clean Energy Jobs Plan will reduce global warming pollution:
-The ACEEE report said that in the year 2020, an energy efficiency standard could reduce heat-trapping emissions by 262 million metric tons.
-The UCS analysis showed that an RES could reduce global warming pollution by 277 million metric tons a year by 2025, the equivalent of the current annual output of 70 average-size coal-fired power plants.
The draft Clean Energy Jobs Plan will make polluters pay:
-The Clean Energy Jobs Plan will hold the biggest polluters accountable for their global warming pollution -- which will save consumers money, create jobs, cut global warming pollution, and drive investment in research and development in new clean energy sources.
America Can Meet the Challenge of Fighting Global Warming and Boosting the Economy
We believe in America’s ability to innovate and solve big problems. We’ve proven time and time again we can rise to the occasion and address major environmental challenges without harming the economy: Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, acid rain.
America should be a leader in this new clean energy economy. The cost of failing to address climate change is enormous and rising steadily, but the cost of addressing it is small. We must act now and become the global leaders in clean, renewable energy technologies to drive economic growth reduce global warming pollution.