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Press Room:  For Immediate Release 
Explore, Enjoy and Protect the Planet

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 22, 2009
CONTACT: Josh Dorner, 202.675.2384

House Ramps Up Action on Clean Energy Jobs Plan
as America Celebrates 39th Earth Day

Washington, D.C.--As President Obama heads off to Iowa to visit a wind turbine factory, the House Energy & Commerce Committee begins its second day of hearings on its clean energy jobs plan, the America Clean Energy and Security Act.  Hearings began yesterday with opening statements from Members.  Today's hearing will feature three panels:

  • Administration Officials: EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, Energy Steven Chu, and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
  • U.S. Climate Action Partnership: Corporate officials from Duke Energy, NRG, ConocoPhillips, Alcoa, and DuPont, as well as Frances Beinecke, President of the Natural Resources Defense Council.
  • Green Jobs & Economic Benefits: Mayor John Fetterman (Braddock, PA), American Wind Energy Association CEO Denise Bode, Blue Green Alliance Executive Director Dave Foster, Apollo Alliance Co-Director Kate Gordon, Union of Concerned Scientists President Kevin Knobloch, National Grid VP David Manning, Environmental Defense Fund Economic Analyst Nathaniel Keohane, Tufts University Economist Frank Ackerman.

"The Broken Record" Project Liveblogging the Hearing

As the economic benefits of the bill and the clean energy jobs it will create are discussed, we can expect many of the defenders of Big Oil and other polluters to trot out their discredited attacks and misleading numbers.  The Broken Record Project will continue to track, report, and debunk these naysayers.

  • Twitter: Follow Sierra Student Coalition and Energy Action Coalition @PowerShift09 and look for the #brokenrecord hashtag. 

Today's Three Quick Facts

  • EPA Says Climate Bill Will Cost Just Pennies a Day:  The EPA's economic analyis of just one part of the Waxman-Markey clean energy jobs plan demonstrates that a properly designed bill will cost the average American 27 to 38 cents a day.  This is a far cry from the widely-discredited figures that have been circulated by conservatives for weeks now. 
  • EPA's Analysis does not include other parts of the bill, including the energy efficiency and other investments that will lower energy costs for consumers.  Even without including these provisions--the ones that will go the farthest toward lowering costs for consumers, EPA's analyis shows the bill is affordable.
  • Union of Concerned Scientists Analysis Shows Clean Energy Jobs Plan Will LOWER Energy Bills by 2030:  UCS also released an analysis , taking energy efficiency and other measures into account of what a cut an emissions cut of 56 percent below 2005 levels would mean for consumers.  Its analysis showed that consumer energy costs would actually be lower in 2030.  The average U.S. household would enjoy a net savings of $900 on its energy bills, including $580 on transportation (fuel, vehicle and driving) costs and $320 on electricity, natural gas and heating oil, after investing in home efficiency improvements.   Businesses collectively would realize net energy bill savings of $130 billion.  

Today's Capitol Insider Fact:

Many Congressional hearings go unnoticed, but hearings like those taking place in the Energy & Commerce Committee this week attract considerable attention and take place before packed hearing rooms.  People often line up for hours just to get a seat.  A little known fact is that while members of the general public and staff from groups like the Sierra Club stand in line themselves for hours to get in, corporate interests pay a small army of people ("line sitters" in Capitol Hill parlance) to stand in line for them. 

A Sierra Club energy staffer who arrived nearly two full hours before the scheduled start of today's hearing was told by security that she was already too far back in line to be admitted.  She noted that paid line sitters for Duke Energy were first in line, followed closely behind by those forf the Southern Company--the utility that spent tens of millions of dollars in the past several years lobbying against job-creating clean energy legislation.  

All is not lost, however, as the Sierra Club staffer also reported more than a dozen Sierra Student Coalition/Energy Action Coalition students were near the head of the line and would certainly make it inside for today's hearing.

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